Men's gymnastics wins first Metroplex Challenge men's title with a 441.500 against four top-eight teams.
| Ohio State
| Texas A&M
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The University of Oklahoma men's gymnastics
team captured the inaugural Metroplex Challenge men's title Friday with a score
of 441.500 against four top-eight teams at the Fort Worth Convention Center
No. 4 OU finished over 12 points ahead of No. 5 Ohio State, who posted a 429.400.
No. 6 and defending national champion Illinois finished third with 428.300,
followed by No. 8 Iowa with 422.750. Texas A&M's club team finished fifth,
ahead of a group of Texas collegiate all-stars.
The Sooners won team event titles on the pommel horse (72.850), parallel bars
(72.850) and high bar (73.000). Ohio State claimed victories on floor (74.800)
and vault (73.200) while Illinois won the rings event (75.250) with the highest
team score on any event.
Gymnasts from Oklahoma and Ohio State each won two individual event titles.
Presten Ellsworth and Danny Berardini won vault and parallel bars, respectively,
while the Buckeyes' Danny Steiner and John Laing won the floor and pommel horse.
Iowa's Anton Gryshayev won the rings event and Illinois' Jordan Valdez claimed
the top score on high bar.
"I was very happy, they competed very well," head coach Mark Williams
said. "We had our highest hit percentage of the season, highest score of
the season and there was a lot of energy throughout the competition. A lot of
guys are from Texas, so it was fun for them to compete in their home state,
and I think that helped them motivation-wise. We had some tough teams in Ohio
State and Illinois, so it's nice to feel like we can put it together well and
get some confidence going into the rest of the season."
OU opened the meet on floor, where it posted a 74.700. OU was led by Raymond
White's season-high 15.350, followed by Presten Ellsworth's 15.050. Todd Dowdy
scored a 14.700 in his collegiate debut.
On pommel horse, the Sooners scored a 72.850. Mike Reid and Jacoby Rubin were
OU's highest-scoring gymnasts with a 14.800. Reid and Rubin posted a season
high, while Rubin's score matched his career high.
Oklahoma recorded a 74.95 on rings, highlighted by career or season highs from
every Sooner on the event. Troy Nitzky's season-high 15.450 paved the way for
OU. In his season debut, Chris Stehl finished close behind with a 15.300, followed
by Rubin's career-high 15.050. Ellsworth, (14.900), Will Clement (14.250) and
Kanji Oyama (14.100) also posted career highs.
In first place after three events, OU scored a 73.150 on vault, its fourth event.Ellsworth
led the Sooners with a season-high 15.100, followed by Dylan Akers' 14.850,
which tied a career high.
On parallel bars, the Sooners posted a 72.850. Danny Berardini and Sergey Resnick
scored career highs of 15.250 and 15.05, respectively.
OU capped the night with a 73.000 on high bar to secure the 2013 Metroplex Challenge
championship. Rubin scored a 15.000 in his season debut on the event, followed
by Alec Robin's career-high 14.650. Chris Stehl tied his career high with a
The Sooners will compete in its first dual meet of the season at No. 8 Iowa
on Feb. 2. After opening the season with three-straight invitationals, the dual
meet marks the first of six-straight two-team events to close out the regular
season. The rematch with the Hawkeyes will commence at 5 p.m. CT.
For complete news and behind-the-scenes updates on the Sooners, follow them
on Twitter at @SoonerGymnasts
and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SoonerGymnasts,
the official Facebook page of OU Men's Gymnastics.