April 15, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The University of Oklahoma men's gymnastics team tallied 361.600 points to finish second at the 2011 NCAA Championship at St. John Arena on the campus of Ohio State. Stanford (363.450) claimed the National Championship, and Illinois (360.150) finished third and Cal (358.700) was fourth. Michigan (356.200) and Penn State (355.700) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
“We couldn’t fight off Stanford and they are very deserving of the title,” said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. “I am very fortunate that my team had a great display of gymnastics. I am very proud of the season that we put together.”
2011 Nissen-Emery Award winner, senior Steven Legendre, finished fourth in the all-around with a score of 89.700 as a total of five OU gymnasts qualified for a combined five individual event finals scheduled for Saturday. Oklahoma finished first on floor (62.900).
“I am proud of the guys. We didn’t finish on top of the podium but we fought like champions,” said Legendre. “I am so proud of the way this team came around at the end of the year as a team and in gymnastics.”
Legendre (All-Around, Floor, High Bar), Jacob Dalton (Floor, Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, High Bar), Troy Nitzky (Rings), Alex Naddour (All-Around, Pommel Horse, Vault) and Bobby Shortle (Floor) will compete tomorrow in the individual championships as each of the eight individuals in each event will be crowned All-Americans.
“The meet is not done until we are done with individual finals,” continued Williams. “I am looking forward to some great gymnastics tomorrow and we have some guys that will be fighting, for some individual national titles.”
Saturday night's competition is slated for a 6 p.m. (CT) start inside the St. John Arena.
Highlighting the meet for the Sooners was Alex Naddour, finishing third in the all-around with a score of 89.750. The Gilbert, Ariz, native posted a career high score of 16.250 on vault to help his average.
“Getting third in the all-around is a great experience but I want to win it as a team next year,” said Naddour.
Throughout the week, SoonerSports.com will feature exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage of the 2011 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships, as well as live scoring and recaps from all three days of competition.
ESPN2 will be broadcasting the team and all-around finals of the championships on tape-delay, Thursday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m. ET.