NORMAN, Okla. – The Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team put on a show at its annual Crimson and Cream intrasquad at the Viersen Center on Sunday.
With seven returning All-Americans and six freshmen among the competitors for the Sooners, the crowd in attendance got its first look at the 2014 squad that is coming off an NCAA second place finish last season.
Head coach Mark Williams was especially pleased with his team’s clean finishes throughout the meet.
“This time of the year having a hit percentage above 90 percent is unusual,” Williams said. “The way the scoring is with the five up and five count, it dictates that we be consistent throughout the season. So it’s good to see early on that guys are hitting routines and build some difficulty along the way and still maintain that consistency as we go.”
“I was really happy with how things went today,” Williams continued. “I’d say we’re along the right track.”
Sophomore Kanji Oyama placed first on floor on the day, while junior Michael Reid took first on pommel, junior Michael Squires took the rings title, freshman Colin Van Wicklen won vault, junior Sergey Resnick won parallel bars and junior Danny Berardini placed first on high bar.
In the first rotation, Oyama recorded the top floor score with a 15.200, followed closely by senior Raymond White with a 15.150 and Van Wicklen scoring an even 15.000.
Squires, the defending NCAA national champion on rings, aced a tough new routine and was awarded a score of 15.500.
Other top scores included Van Wicklen’s 15.000 and a 14.900 from senior Alec Robin on vault and Resnick’s score of 14.900 on parallel bars.
Williams also singled out the performance of junior Dylan Akers, who placed in the top three overall on pommel horse, parallel bars and high bar.
“I thought Dylan really stepped up today,” Williams said. “He’s had to recover from shoulder surgery and today he had a really good meet all the way around. He made some changes and looked better than he has before.”
The Sooners, 2013 NCAA national runners up and defending Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champions, will begin the regular season on Jan. 11 at the Rocky Mountain Open in Colorado Springs, Colo. OU's first home meet will be Jan. 18 against Air Force at 5 p.m. at McCasland Field House. For tickets, click here.
Jacoby Rubin (out due to injury)
Colin Van Wicklen