Feb. 1, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - The No. 1 Oklahoma men's gymnastics team will welcome fifth-ranked Michigan and No. 11 Nebraska to the Howard McCasland Field House for a triangular meet, Saturday at 7 p.m. OU is coming off of an impressive win at the Rocky Mountain Open in Colorado Springs last Saturday. Entering this weekend's competition, the Sooners boast the two highest scores in the nation.
The Sooners are the nation's top-ranked team on the still rings and floor exercise, and are second on the pommel horse and high bar. Junior Daniel Furney is currently the No. 1 all-around gymnast in the nation and several other Sooners place in the top 10 for individual events. Sophomore Jock Stevens is ranked first on the vault and second on the floor exercise, while junior Josh Landis is tied for first on the parallel bars and is second on the pommel horse. Junior Brett Covey and freshman David Henderson are ranked fourth and sixth on the rings, respectively.
Michigan began this season ranked second in the GymInfo National Poll, however the Wolverines have fallen to No. 5 after a 4-3 start. Most recently, Michigan scored a 209.700 in a home loss to Penn State in a Big Ten dual meet. Against the Nittany Lions, the Wolverines were led by juniors Conan Parzuchowski and Kris Zimmerman. Parzuchowski scored 9.400 to edge out teammate Zimmerman (9.300) for the still rings title and placed third on the vault (9.150). To go along with his silver on the still rings, Zimmerman captured the pommel horse (9.050) and the parallel bars (9.100) titles and tied for fourth on the horizontal bar (8.850). Senior Daniel Diaz-Luong is another of UM's major contributors.
Nebraska, OU's Big 12 rival, is ranked 11th in this week's GymInfo National Poll and has wins over Army and Air Force this season. The Huskers lost a season-opener to then-No. 5 Illinois and then were defeated by Oklahoma and Iowa at the Rocky Mountain Open. Nebraska turned in a season-high 36.50 on the vault and 34.70 on the parallel bars at the Rocky Mountain Open, however continued to struggle on the pommel horse, posting just a 31.80.
"We will be facing two formidable opponents tomorrow evening," said OU head coach Mark Williams. "This will serve as a precursor to the NCAAs, which we will be hosting in April. I expect both Michigan and Nebraska to continue to improve throughout the season and I'm sure we'll see them again after this meet. We are hoping to continue our hot start and stay at the top of the rankings."