No. 1 Sooners Go on the Road

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Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JANUARY 23, 2014
 No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Minnesota & UIC  |  Saturday, Jan. 25  |  1 p.m. CT
 Where  Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minn.
 Live Video  Gopher All-Access
 Live Stats  GopherSports.com
 In-Meet Info  OU Men's Gymnastics Twitter

NORMAN, Okla. -- Two weeks ago, the Oklahoma men's gymnastics team competed at the Rocky Mountain Open. The Sooners not only came out with a first-place finish, they scored a 443.150 - the highest season-opening score in program history.

To put OU's performance in perspective, the Sooners scored higher than a 443.150 just once all of last season, a season in which the Sooners finished second in the nation.

Yet last Saturday Oklahoma almost repeated its performance, posting a 440.700 in a resounding win over No. 6 Air Force. After two weeks, OU holds the two highest team scores in the country, with Michigan coming in third at 437.500. In fact, no other team in the country has scored above even a 432.000 more than twice yet this season.

Ranked No. 1 in both the statistical rankings and the national coaches poll for the second straight week, the Sooners are going back on the road to compete in an historically hostile environment at No. 7 Minnesota looking to get even better.

"Yeah, we've had two really high scores in the first two meets, but it's only a confidence booster for the team," said senior co-captain Presten Ellsworth. "It makes us want to go out and do even better."

Oklahoma has never lost to Minnesota since Mark Williams became head coach in 2000. Last season, OU defeated the Golden Gophers in Norman, 443.350 - 435.450.

While all-around All-American Alec Robin eases back into full competition after offseason surgery, other Sooners have stepped in to win the all-around at OU's two meets this season. Junior Danny Berardini walked away with the trophy after setting four career highs at the Rocky Mountain Open; against Air Force it was sophomore Kanji Oyama who stepped up, setting career highs on pommel rings and vault in addition to competing on parallel bars and high bar for the first time as a Sooner.

Robin is still first in the nation with a 15.400 average on floor. Junior Michael Squires is second on rings at 15.725 and Oyama is second in the all-around at 88.550.

As a team, OU ranks first on floor and parallel bars, second on pommel horse and still rings, fifth on high bar and sixth on vault.

Sooner fans can follow the meet at GopherSports.com or at the Sooners' official Twitter account, @OU_MGymnastics.

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