Oct. 12, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma men's gymnastics team is ranked third in the preseason GymInfo Coaches Poll released Tuesday, receiving two first-place votes.
Stanford will begin the 2011 season as the nation's top team receiving seven first place votes, while Michigan rounds out the top three teams collecting seven first place nods. Illinois and Cal finish off the top five at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
The Sooners have debuted in the top three in each of head coach Mark Williams' twelve seasons at OU and were the coaches' preseason No. 1 five times in that span (2002-03 and 2005-07).
"It's always an honor to be ranked amongst the nation's best in the preseason poll," said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. "We have a lot of hard work ahead of us and we are looking forward to the start of the season."
The Sooners are coming off the program's 10th Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship in 2010 and boast 11 returning letterwinners from a team that also captured the program's 31st (Steven Legendre, floor) and 32nd (Alex Naddour, pommel) individual national titles.
In addition, OU returns five gymnasts with All-America credentials in seniors Steven Legendre, Bobby Shortle, sophomores Alex Naddour, Jacob Dalton and Jeremy Adams. That group that helped Oklahoma earn 11 All-American honors a year ago.
"We have several guys who have been a part of several national championships on our team and the coaches are confident that they can go out and perform like they have in the past," added Williams.
Since taking over as head coach in 2000, Williams has guided the Sooners to an incredible 270-25 (.915) mark that includes five NCAA titles and nine MPSF championships in eleven seasons. Oklahoma has finished no lower than third since 2001.
2011 GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll
First-place votes in parentheses
1. Stanford (7)
2. Michigan (7)
3. OKLAHOMA (2)
6. Ohio State
7. Penn State
13. Air Force
14. William & Mary