March 3, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - The top-ranked Oklahoma men's gymnastics team team improved to 11-0 on the season after scoring the nation's highest score, a 220.650, to defeat No. 10 Minnesota (3-8) and No. 11 Stanford (6-9) at Lloyd Noble Center today. The Gophers came in second with a 213.525 and the Cardinal finished third with a 207.425.
The Sooners took top honors in every event except the all-around and set six individual career-high scores. Junior Josh Landis was first on the high bar (9.300) and pommel horse (9.600). Senior Everette Bierker took the parallel bar title (9.150) and finished second on the high bar (9.250). Sophomore Jock Stevens took first on the floor (9.625) and vault (9.550), while junior Brett Covey took still rings honors (9.800).
"The guys did an outstanding job today," said OU head coach Mark Williams. "We set a goal this season to get a 220 and we have already exceeded that. If we can repeat this performance at the NCAAs, we'll be in good shape."
The Sooners dominated the rings, taking the top five of six spots. Senior Jim Lovelady finished his regular season competition at home with a career-high 9.750 to take second place. Junior Daniel Furney tied for third with a 9.650, while junior Shannon Carrion and freshman David Henderson took fifth and sixth places with a 9.600 and 9.459, respectively.
"I think our rings team is the best in collegiate gymnastics," said Williams. "They were huge for us today. They've been scoring in the 37s but they came out and scored a 38.800 today to propel us to our best team score of the season. I really think this score is something we can achieve in April as well."
The Sooners have one regular season meet left against Stanford on Saturday, March 10, in Stanford, Calif. OU then travels to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., on March 23-24.
Team Scores 1. Oklahoma220.650 2. Minnesota213.525 3. Stanford207.425