Legendre captures all-around as third-ranked Sooners cruise to victory in Colorado.
Jan. 13, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. - For the ninth consecutive year, the Oklahoma men's gymnastics team started the season with a victory at the Rocky Mountain Open. The third-ranked Sooners scored a 343.550 Saturday night in Colorado Springs, Colo., to win the collegiate portion of the competition, while freshman Steven Legendre claimed the first all-around title of his OU career with an 84.950.
"I was proud of the attitude and the effort of the guys tonight," head coach Mark Williams said. "I thought we performed pretty consistently for this early in the year. We were a little bit shorthanded but we were still able to pull off a good score with a good performance."
The Sooners were without several key contributors, including senior Jonathan Horton, who continues to rest after a busy summer of international competition. Oklahoma also had several other gymnasts who were limited to a few events while nursing minor injuries.
No. 10 Nebraska finished second with a 331.200 total, while host Air Force was third (323.200). Club teams from Arizona State University (305.850) and the University of Washington (194.100) placed fourth and fifth, respectively. A team comprised of athletes from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs scored a 347.900 but was ineligible for awards in the collegiate division.
Oklahoma gymnasts claimed individual titles on five events. In addition to his all-around victory, Legendre, from Port Jefferson, N.Y., took the floor exercise crown with a 15.400. Senior co-captain Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons won the still rings with a score of 15.000, while junior Chris Brooks was the high bar champion (14.600).
Competing in the all-around for the first time as a collegian, junior Kyle McNamara turned in the best performance of his OU career, claiming event titles on vault (15.550) and parallel bars (14.750) and finishing as the runner-up in the all-around competition.
"I was really pleased with the way Kyle competed," Williams said. "He had a really good night, winning parallel bars and vault and coming through with a really good pommel horse routine, which we've desperately needed."
Oklahoma will face familiar foes next weekend as the Sooners travel to Lincoln, Neb., on Jan. 20 for a rematch against the Cornhuskers and Falcons. The meet is scheduled for a 2 p.m. (CT) start inside the Bob Devaney Center on the University of Nebraska campus.2008 Rocky Mountain Open Collegiate Team Results
1. Oklahoma (343.550)
2. Nebraska (331.200)
3. Air Force (323.200)
4. Arizona State (305.850)
5. Washington (194.100)Oklahoma Event Scores
Floor Exercise (58.600)
Pommel Horse (53.750)
Still Rings (57.900)
Parallel Bars (57.350)
High Bar (54.250)