COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of Oklahoma men’s gymnastics squad had a strong showing this weekend at the 2014 National Qualifier in Colorado Springs, Colo. The program qualified six current Sooners to the P&G Championships in August over the weekend.
In addition to the six who punched their ticket to the national competition, OU alums Steven Legendre and Jake Dalton have each qualified for the championships at the senior level by virtue of having been on the 2013 World Championships team. The other qualifier connected with the program is incoming freshman Hunter Justus, who is expected to have a petition approved to compete at the junior level at the P&G Gymnastics Championships.
“It is very exciting to have nine Sooners qualified for the P & G Championships in August,” said head coach Mark Williams. This is the most we have ever had represented in a single year who are still training in our facility. I look forward to a great competition in Pittsburg where the national team and 2014 World Championships team will be selected.”
OU’s headlining performance at the qualifier came from sophomore-to-be Allan Bower, who posted a score of 86.35 in the all-around and 65 points based on the National Points Ranking System. Twenty points are given for a first place finish down to one point for a 20th-place finish. The 65 points placed Bower fourth overall, behind three professionals, including 2012 Olympian Danell Leyva.
Bower’s best performance of Saturday came on the pommel horse, as the sophomore won the event with a score of 14.600 points to pick up 20 total points. Bower also finished in the top 10 in the floor exercise (T-6th; 14.750) and vault (6th; 14.850).
Joining Bower in the top 10 in total points was junior Kanji Oyama, who placed sixth with a total of 60 points and an all-around score of 85.75. Oyama was solid throughout Saturday’s competition, recording four top-10 performances in the parallel bars (3rd; 14.400), floor exercise (T-6th; 14.750), vault (T-9th; 14.750) and pommel horse (10th; 13.700).
Rounding out the OU qualifiers were junior Joshua Yee (12th; 36 points) sophomore Colin Van Wicklen (15th; 32), Danny Berardini (16th; 31) and Dylan Akers (22nd; 22).
Van Wicklen not only qualified for the senior competition at the P&G Championships but also won the junior title at the qualifier by a total of six points. The sophomore will have a chance to make both the senior and junior national teams next month.
A total of 81 gymnasts competed at the 2014 National Qualifier. Winning the event was Donnell Whittenburg, who scored an all-around mark of 87.950 to total 81 points in the competition.
The P&G Championships are scheduled for August 21-24 and will be held in Pittsburgh, Pa. at the CONSOL Energy Center.Get inside looks at the Sooners and follow all the action by liking the OU Men’s Gymnastics Facebook page and by following the team on Twitter and Instagram using the handle @OU_MGymnastics.