NORMAN, Okla. -- Two former members of the Oklahoma men's gymnastics team advanced to the event finals at the World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, Monday and Tuesday.
Participating in Tuesday's qualifying subdivision, Steven Legendre performed four double flipping elements, including a two-and-a-half twisting double back, on the floor exercise. His 15.091 landed him in eighth place and a spot in the finals.
Legendre, the 2011 Nissen-Emery winner while at OU, also scored a 14.833 for his first vault and a 15.000 on his second, giving him a 14.916 average and another eighth-place finish.
Also qualifying for event finals is four-time NCAA national champion Jake Dalton. Dalton competed on floor exercise and vault on Monday. His 15.166 in a routine included an Arabian double layout mount and a triple full dismount on floor was good for sixth in the event, qualifying him for the final.
Dalton also finished ninth on vault with a score of 14.866, making him first alternate.
The top 24-ranked gymnasts qualify for the all-around finals, with the top eight for each event advancing to the event finals. The 2013 World Championships is an individual competition and does not have a team component.
"This was one of the best prelim performances by Team USA ever," said OU head coach Mark Williams, who is also in Belgium as a personal coach to Legendre and Dalton. "Steve and Jake are excited to be representing Team USA in the World Championships finals."
Also on Tuesday, former Sooner Alex Naddour competed on pommel horse, posting a score of 15.000 for 11th place.
The U.S. men will be well-represented in the finals, with five members of the squad earning eight final spots, including Sam Mikulak, all-around (second) and horizontal bar (fourth); Brandon Wynn, still rings (third) and parallel bars (sixth); Legendre, floor exercise (eighth) and vault (eighth); Dalton, floor exercise (sixth) and first reserve athlete for vault; and John Orozco, parallel bars (seventh).
The complete competition schedule for the remainder of the World Championships is: Oct. 3 – men’s all-around finals, 2 p.m.; Oct. 5 – event finals, men’s floor exercise, pommel horse and still rings, 10:30 a.m.; and Oct. 6 – event finals, men’s vault, parallel bars and horizontal bars, 10:30 a.m.. The times listed are Central.