March 10, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- The top-ranked Oklahoma men's gymnastics team continued its hot streak with a 355.500-348.950 win over No. 8 Michigan at the Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday.
The Sooners (11-1, 4-0 MPSF) totaled over a 355 for the third consecutive meet and swept all six events in their win over the eighth-ranked Wolverines (6-6, 4-3 Big Ten).
Oklahoma, who normally competes at the McCasland Field House, hosted the meet at the Lloyd Noble Center to preview the venue for the 2012 NCAA Championships, held at the LNC on April 19-21.
"We're on track," said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. "There are still a few little mistakes that we made and need to fix, but overall I have to be pleased with this dry-run performance before we come in here to compete in the NCAA Championships. The guys handled the new environment well."
Junior Jake Dalton claimed three individual event titles on floor, vault and a shared title on parallel bars but barely fell to Michigan's Sam Mikulak in the all-around, 90.300-90.000. Mikulak, who tied Dalton for the p-bars crown, also took event titles on pommel horse and high bar.
Dalton and Mikulak, both members of the U.S. National Team, will compete as teammates next week at the 2012 Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships in Everett, Wash., as part of Team USA's three-man lineup.
The Sooners began the meet on floor exercise, totaling a 61.250 behind Dalton's 16.050 and senior Michael Heredia's career-best 15.150.
Oklahoma, the top-ranked team on floor, has scored over a 60 in the event in five of its past six meets. The Sooners have won the floor title in each of its last 25 regular-season meets.
In the second rotation, OU posted a 56.750 on pommel horse, its lowest score on the apparatus since Jan. 28 at Illinois. Freshmen Jacoby Rubin (14.450) and Michael Reid (14.350) earned the Sooners' top scores.
Chris Stehl (15.400), Troy Nitzky (15.200) and Dalton (15.100) led the Sooners to a 60.350 on rings, topping a 60 on rings for the third-straight meet. Nitzky, an All-American on rings, has scored a 15.350 or higher during that streak. Stehl picked up his third rings title of the season.
In the fourth rotation, the Sooners scored a season-high 59.600 on vault for the second-straight week. Dalton led the way with a season-high 15.550 followed by Heredia's 14.900.
On parallel bars, Dalton took the event title with a 15.350 to lead the Sooners to a 58.600 total. Danny Berardini collected a 14.500 and Nitzky scored a career-high 14.450.
The Sooners clinched the victory with a 58.950 on high bar in the final rotation behind Dalton's 14.900. Freshmen Dylan Akers (14.800) and William Clement (14.700) each scored career highs.
Oklahoma will return to its regular home facility of the McCasland Field House on March 17 in a tri-meet against Nebraska and Air Force for "Luck of the Sooners Night."
The final regular-season home meet will be sponsored by the OU IT Store, who is covering the cost of admission for the first 100 fans in attendance. Giveaways include multiple green iPod Shuffles and one lucky fans will win an Xbox.