No. 1 OU Sets Sights on Championship

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 27, 2014
 No. 1 Oklahoma at MPSF Championships | Saturday, March 29  |  4 p.m. CT
 Location  McCasland Field House (Norman, Okla.)
 Live TV  FOX Sports Southwest+ / FOX College Sports Central
 Live Stream
 Live Scoring
OU's MPSF History
Year MPSF Finish National Finish
1995 4th 5th
1996 2nd 5th
1997 2nd 2nd
1998 5th 4th
1999 1st --
2000 1st 4th
2001 1st 2nd
2002 1st 1st
2003 1st 1st
2004 2nd 2nd
2005 1st 1st
2006 1st 1st
2007 1st 2nd
2008 1st 1st
2009 2nd 3rd
2010 1st 3rd
2011 2nd 2nd
2012 1st 2nd
2013 1st 2nd

NORMAN, Okla. -- Ranked No. 1 in the nation 11 weeks running, Oklahoma will face No. 3 Stanford, No. 9 California and No. 10 Air Force at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. The Sooners are the two-time defending champions and are looking for their 13th MPSF title and 21st conference title overall. OU has won 12 of the last 15 MPSF titles since 1999.

Last season, OU won the championships with a score of 435.350, besting second-place Stanford by almost 10 points. Sergey Resnick (PH), Michael Squires (SR), Alec Robin (V), Presten Ellsworth (PB) and William Clement (HB) each won individual conference titles.

The Sooners are the No. 1 team in the country at the close of the 2014 regular season, completing a streak that saw OU occupy the top spot of every regular season poll.

OU leads all squads with a 443.917 four-score average, almost two points ahead of No. 2 Ohio State at 442.167. Stanford comes in at No. 3 with an average of 442.017 and Michigan is No. 4 at 440.283.

The Sooners are also ranked No. 1 as a team in an impressive four events, including floor exercise (75.983), pommel horse (73.933), still rings (74.833) and vault (74.500). OU comes in at No. 3 on parallel bars (73.677) and No. 4 on high bar (72.633). Of all team event scores submitted this season, Oklahoma has earned the highest totals of any squad on floor (76.550 vs. Stanford) and still rings (75.600 vs. Stanford) and second highest on both vault (72.250 at Ohio State) and parallel bars (76.650 at Rocky Mountain Open).

Defending national champion Squires is the top-ranked individual Sooner, coming in at No. 1 on still rings with a 15.983 average.

OU has five gymnasts ranked in the top 13 nationally on floor, led by Robin at No. 2. He is followed by No. 5 Raymond White, No. 7 Colin Van Wicklen, No. 11 Kanji Oyama and No. 13 Dylan Akers.

On pommel horse, the Sooners have four gymnast in the top 20, the most of any team. Michael Reid is first on the team and No. 3 in the country, while Resnick is ranked No. 6, White is No. 8 and Robin is No. 19.

Other high-ranking Sooners include Van Wicklen, ranked No. 3 on vault; Resnick and Danny Berardini ranked No. 4 and No. 10, respectively, on parallel bars; and two others on high bar – No. 6 Stanton Rehkemper and No. 9 Clement.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The No. 2 University of Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team captured its 20th conference title and 12th in the past 15 years Saturday night with its second-consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Conference Championship.

The Sooners posted a 435.350 to finish ahead of No. 4 Stanford’s 425.950. No. 9 California finished third with a 419.550, while No. 11 Air Force scored a 416.400. Oklahoma became the only team in the country in conference championship meets to score a 70.000 or higher on all six events. OU posted the top scores on pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and high bar.

Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams was named the MPSF Coach of the Year, while junior Presten Ellsworth was honored with Gymnast of the Year honors. It is the tenth Coach of the Year accolade for Williams since 2000.

“I’m ecstatic for the performance our team had today,” Williams said. “When I looked at this team early in the season I didn’t expect a whole lot in terms of overall team success throughout the entire year, but they’ve met and exceeded all the expectations I’ve had for them. Finishing the regular season ranked second in the country and then winning the conference championship is just thrilling. It was great to see this group come together as a team and win championships. I can’t be more proud of them.”

OU won five of the six individual conference titles. Sergey Resnick on pommel horse (14.500), Michael Squires on rings (15.650), Alec Robin on vault (15.500), Presten Ellsworth on parallel bars (14.800), and William Clement (14.950) all claimed conference championships. All-time, Oklahoma has now won 116 individual conference crowns.

“We were very dominant in individual performances, where we won five of the six individual events,” Williams said. “It just makes today’s win even better. We certainly look forward to the challenge of the NCAA Championships coming up, and I think we put ourselves in a good position to contend for another national title.”

Since Mark Williams was named head coach in 2000, the Sooners have claimed 11 team championships, all as members of MPSF. Oklahoma’s first eight championships came as members of the Big Eight.

OU’s win came in come-from-behind fashion after the Sooners found themselves in third place after two events.

Oklahoma opened with a 73.100 on floor. OU was led by Robin, who anchored the Sooners with a career-high and team-high 15.550.

On the second event, the Sooners posted a 70.650 on pommel horse. OU was led by Resnick’s 14.500 and Troy Nitzky’s 14.400. After two rotations, Oklahoma was just 1.250 points behind first-place Stanford but in third place.

The Sooners’ third event was where everything turned in favor of OU. Oklahoma notched a 73.65 on rings to take the lead with a 217.400. Squires anchored with a meet-high 15.65. Seniors Chris Stehl scored a 14.9, while Troy Nitzky earned a 14.65.

With a 2.200 point lead over Stanford at the halfway point, the Sooners scored a season-high 74.1 on vault. Robin’s meet high 15.500 was also a career high to lead OU. Stanford, on floor, narrowed the lead and was behind Oklahoma by just 0.9 points.

The Sooners posted a 72.05 on parallel bars and found themselves with a lead of 9.0 points after five rotations. With high bar remaining, OU had a 363.600, ahead of Stanford’s 354.600. While no Sooners posted career highs, three gymnasts scored at least a 14.700, led by Ellsworth’s 14.800.

Oklahoma closed with a 71.750 on high bar. William Clement scored a 14.950 to lead the Sooners, while Alec Robin posted a 14.750. Danny Berardini and Ethan Jose each notched a 14.350.



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