NORMAN, Okla. -- Led by record-high team performances on two
events, the No. 3 University of Oklahoma men's gymnastics team posted its highest
winning margin of the season with a 440.300-420.050 victory over conference
rival and No. 12 Air Force Saturday night at the OU Field House.
The Sooners extended their regular-season home winning streak to 21 straight
meets in front of a lively crowd of 1,197 on Cleveland Elementary School Night
and Military Appreciation Night. As part of OU's community service partnership
with Cleveland Elementary, the Cleveland students sang the national anthem,
served as honorary judges and coaches and decorated and hung banners in support
of their OU gymnastics mentors.
"The environment was fantastic tonight," OU head coach Mark Williams said.
"We actually stepped it up a notch from last weekend with the Cleveland
Elementary School here, having Jake Dalton perform a couple of extra exhibition
routines and having Military Appreciation Night. It was just all great. The
Air Force coaches were pleased, and I think it was a good event for the fans
to be here and appreciate gymnastics."
The Sooners won every team event and five of the six individual titles as OU
improved to 12-1 on the season. In his first career appearance in the all-around,
sophomore Jacoby Rubin claimed the title with an 86.900. Fellow sophomore Alec
Robin also competed in the all-around and finished second with an 86.000, a
"I was really happy with the performance over all," Williams said. "I
was pleased to see Jacoby Rubin out there for the first all-around in his career.
Alec Robin competed in the all-around as well, so he should be back in the national
rankings this week. I think we finished a little bit better than last week.
Now we look forward to five up five-count next weekend and we'll have to make
some adjustments to the lineups, but I feel like we're consistent at this point
in the year."
For the second straight meet, the Sooners opened on floor and produced a lead
they would not give up. A 74.250 gave OU a 4.800 point edge after the first
rotation, and Robin's 15.200 led the way for the Sooners to another fast start.
A 74.500 on pommel horse was a season high and extended OU's lead to nearly
10.000 after just two events. Rubin's 15.100 and Troy Nitzky's 14.850 were career
highs, while Sergey Resnick and Michael Reid each recorded a 14.900.
The Sooners scored a 73.300 on rings and found themselves with an 11.200 point
lead at the halfway point of the competition. Once again, Michael Squires' 15.450
was a meet high. The sophomore walk-on has won three event titles this season
After a poor performance on vault last weekend, OU rebounded with a 72.900 against
Air Force. Akers' career high 14.900 was a high score for the Sooners, while
the Falcons' Gared Chapman posted a meet-high 15.050. Vault was the only event
that an Oklahoma gymnast did not win the event title.
"We added some new vaults," Williams said. "We weren't totally
successful on some of them, but we actually had a better team score on vault
than we did last week."
With a double digit lead after four events, the Sooners finished strong with
a 73.850 on parallel bars and a 71.500 on high bar. OU's parallel bars score
was a season high, and Presten Ellsworth and Alec Robin scored career highs
with 14.950 and 14.550, respectively. Both of Oklahoma's final events were won
by sophomore Danny Berardini, who recorded a 15.200 on parallel bars and a 14.750
on high bar.
The Sooners are back on the road next weekend at Nebraska. The meet with the
Cornhuskers is scheduled for March 3 at 1 p.m.
Sooner Sports Powered by FOX Sports is a multi-platform network that provides distribution of 1,000+ hours of Sooner sports programming annually on a variety of FOX Sports outlets, including FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, and FOX College Sports. Additionally, the partnership between the University of Oklahoma and FOX Sports includes a comprehensive digital component featuring extensive "all-access" content not televised on FOX Sports networks including live streaming, archived games, and exclusive materials.
OU inspires champions today and prepares leaders for tomorrow by enabling its student-athletics to acheive their highest academic, athletic and personal aspirations. The OU Athletics Department sponsors 21 varsity sports with more than 600 student-athletics and is completely self-supporting.
Sooner Sports Properties, LLC, is the multimedia rights holder for athletics at the University of Oklahoma. Sooner Sports Properties is a joint venture of Learfield Communications, Tyler Media, LLC and Griffin Television.