Historic Streak Comes to a Close in Champaign
|#1 OU||#2 STAN||#3 UM||#4 PSU||#5 UI||#7 NU|
|SR||A. Diab (UI)||14.733|
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team’s historic run came to a close on Saturday night inside the State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill. The Sooners were narrowly edged in the team finals by the Stanford Cardinal, 415.222-414.556.
Nebraska (407.489) placed third, Michigan (406.354) took fourth, while Illinois (405.358) and Penn State (399.725) placed fifth and sixth.
“It was an amazing run,” said OU head coach Mark Williams. “It's hard to have a streak of victories over such a long period of time and we were a little off tonight."
OU started the meet strong, registering respective scores of 69.698 and 67.265 on floor exercise and pommel horse in the first two rotations. Sophomore Gage Dyer led the squad on floor with a 14.333, while senior co-captain Yul Moldauer notched a 14.100 on pommel horse, good for third place at the championship and All-America status.
Oklahoma registered the top team score on pommel horse of the meet, one of two team event titles the Sooners claimed on the evening.
The Sooners eclipsed the 70-point mark in the third and fourth rotations on still rings and vault, with three gymnasts going 14-plus on rings and all five exceeding the mark on vault.
Senior Peter Daggett claimed his first career All-America honor on rings with a strong 14.366 set that placed sixth. Moldauer took home All-America accolades for the second consecutive event, putting up a 14.533 in the anchor spot that ranked second. Senior rings specialist Jake Maloley capped his OU career with a solid 14.266 performance, good for a share of eighth overall.
On vault, Vitaliy Guimares concluded his exceptional freshman campaign as an All-American. Guimares tied for fourth, registering a 14.800. Senior co-captain Levi Anderson garnered All-America status with a 14.666 performance.
The fifth rotation on parallel bars saw OU pull ahead by over four points. The Sooners scored 68.031, led by senior co-captain Genki Suzuki’s 14.166 routine. The score brought home Suzuki’s first of three All-America honors. OU’s team score on the apparatus was its second event title of the championship.
The meet came down to the sixth and final rotation, with the Sooners on high bar and the Cardinal on rings. OU scored below its season average, putting up an uncharacteristic 66.065. The score left the door open for the Cardinal, who notched a meet-best 71.131 on rings to edge OU out of first-place and win their first championship since 2011.
Suzuki led the Sooners on the horizontal bar with a fifth-place 13.933. The tally brought home Suzuki’s second All-America honor of the night.
Senior captains Suzuki (83.198), Anderson (82.199) and Moldauer (81.831) placed third, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the all-around to be named All-Americans.
With three honors on the evening, Moldauer brought his career total to 18 All-America honors, moving him into a tie for second in NCAA history. The two-time NCAA all-around champion departs OU with seven individual national titles, good for a share of the most in collegiate gymnastics history.
"Unfortunately, we just didn’t have the night that we needed to win another national championship,” concluded Williams. "I think Yul Moldauer doesn’t want to admit that he was injured a couple of weeks ago, hurting his elbow. It flared up a bit during the competition but that’s part of sports."
OU’s historic winning streak of 121 straight victories and four consecutive national titles comes to an end with the runner-up finish. The streak goes down as the third-longest winning streak in NCAA history.