March 19, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 2 Oklahoma men's gymnastics team capped off another undefeated regular season with a pair of wins over No. 4 Illinois and No. 5 Penn State at the Howard McCasland Field House on Saturday,
The Sooners (12-0 overall, 5-0 MPSF) posted the highest score in the NCAA this season (366.400) en route to its victory over the Nittany Lions (356.750) and the Fighting Illini (359.100).
“It was a pretty special night sending off the seniors and we just put it all together tonight,” said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. “We were rocking and rolling all the way through -- it was awesome.”
Oklahoma finished the regular season undefeated for the fourth time under Williams. The Sooners have finished the regular season undefeated four times in the past seven years (2011, 2009, 2006, 2004).
In addition, the Sooners are 19-0 at Howard McCasland Field House since its last home loss in 2007 to Ohio State.
“366.400 is the highest anybody has scored in the NCAA. We are going to try and keep this going all the way to conference championships and NCAA’s,” added Williams.
On Saturday, Oklahoma posted top scores on four of the six event titles with team highs on floor (62.850), vault (64.900), parallel bars (59.150) and high bar (59.300).
Highlighting the meet was Jacob Dalton, who tied an individual program record on vault with a 16.700, previously held by senior Steven Legendre. OU also broke a team program record on vault with a 64.900, previously set against Penn State in 2009 (64.650).
“We are still seeing improvements each meet and some of the little things in practice that we are working on are starting to show,” continued Williams. “The guys had great energy and it was a big night. The way things are going, I could see us contending for a national title.”
Legendre claimed the all-around with an 91.250, while tying for first on high bar with a 15.350.
Saturday night marked the final home meet for seniors C.J. Grimes, Ian Jackson, Steven Legendre, Anthony Naddour and Bobby Shortle.
Oklahoma will take a week off to recuperate before beginning postseason competition at the 2011 MPSF Championships, April 2 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Last season, the Sooners claimed their 10th conference title in the last 12 years. OU also notched its 31st and 32nd individual conference titles under Williams, as Steven Legendre (floor) and Ian Jackson (vault) won MPSF titles.