July 13, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. -- Four members of the Oklahoma men's gymnastics team kickoff a summer full of competition for the Sooners as they travel to compete at the U.S. Qualifier in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Saturday, July 13.
Danny Berardini, William Clement, Kanji Oyama and Josh Yee will all compete to earn a berth to the U.S. Championships, Aug. 16-18. Competition begins at 1:30 p.m. CT, but the four men will compete in the second session starting at 7 p.m.
A minimum of 14 athletes will qualify from the competition to the national championships, scheduled for Aug. 15-18 in Hartford, Conn.
"These four really stepped up to the plate and said hey, this is something we want to do, something extra," said OU assistant coach Guard Young. "It's not easy to stay here all summer and commit to a program, practicing routines when their other teammates are doing fun play skills. I'm real proud of them."
The Qualifier requires each gymnast to compete in the all-around, something none of the four Sooners have done regularly since high school.
"This gives them an opportunity to individually improve their gymnastics as all-arounders and see if they can take where they're at to the next level," said head coach Mark Williams. "I think it'll be good for them to have that experience where it's not just about the team this time. It's a process they have to individually take control of and have to put together six routines relatively mistake-free to be in that top group that advances to the championships."
Berardini will competing in the Qualifier for the second time after doing so the summer before his freshman season at OU. A two-time All-American on parallel bars, Berardini has been looking forward to get back into all-around competition.
"I'm excited to get there and have a chance to qualify for nationals," Berardini said. "It's going to be difficult doing the all-around and competing in every event, but it's something I'm looking forward to. I've had a couple injuries that have kept me from doing the all-around, so I'm excited. It'll be fun."
Fans can check SoonerSports.com or follow the Sooners @SoonerGymnasts for complete results late Saturday evening.