Sooners make first trip to Texas in homecoming for seven OU gymnasts against three top-eight teams.
||Sophomore Michael Reid
METROPLEX CHALLENGE QUICK PREVIEW
The No. 4 University of Oklahoma men's gymnastics team will compete
in the Metroplex Challenge on Friday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. CT. The rare Friday
meet will showcase four teams ranked in the top eight of the GymInfo National
Rankings. In addition to the fourth-ranked Sooners, No. 5 Ohio State, defending
national champion and No. 6 Illinois, No. 8 Iowa and club teams from the University
of Texas and Texas A&M will compete in the six-team meet in Fort Worth, Texas.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
This marks the first year that a men's college meet will be part
of the weekend-long Metroplex Challenge, in addition to youth, club and women's
NCAA teams. The men's event will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center's
Illinois edged out OU for the 2012 national title, while Ohio State and Iowa
both finished in the top 12 at the NCAA championships.
All four NCAA teams are ranked in the top 13 on each event. OU is featured
in the top six in every event, highlighted by a No. 3 ranking in the pommel
horse. Illinois is ranked No. 2 in the pommel horse, rings and parallel bars.
Four Ohio State events are in the top four, with floor and high bar at No. 2,
while Iowa is fifth on rings and parallel bar.
Individually, OU is represented 12 times in the individual event rankings
and at least once on every event. Ten Sooners are ranked in the top 20 on at
least one event, while three earned top-10 rankings and two are ranked on two
events. Sophomore Alec Robin is tied for seventh on the floor exercise and tied
for 14th in the all-around. Redshirt freshman Sergey Resnick is tied for 12th
on the pommel horse and tied for 20th on the parallel bars.
Two meets into the season, No. 4 OU is 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain
Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). Oklahoma's lone loss came at No. 3 Stanford
last weekend. No. 5 Ohio State is 3-1-1, while No. 6 Illinois is 4-1-1. The
two teams met at last weekend's six-team Windy City Invitational, where they
tied for second place behind Michigan. No. 8 Iowa is 1-3 after a fifth-place
finish at the Windy City Invitational.
LIVE RESULTS AND UPDATES
A live video stream will be broadcast on Gymnastike.org
for all Gymnastike Gold subscribers or for a fee. Live results, updates and
photos from Forth Worth will be available on Twitter
at @SoonerGymnasts. Additional behind-the-scenes updates can be found at
and on Instagram.com/OU_MGymnastics,
the official Facebook and Instagram pages of OU Men's Gymnastics.
Presten Ellsworth | Jr. | All-Around
Posted a career-high 15.500 on floor
at the Stanford Open last weekend.
Competed on floor, parallel bars, rings and vault
at the Stanford Open.
Ranked 15th nationally among collegiate gymnasts
on floor with a 14.825.
Will compete on the floor, rings, vault and parallel
bars at the Metroplex Challenge.
HEAD COACH MARK WILLIAMS ON THE METROPLEX CHALLENGE
"We're really looking forward to the Metroplex Challenge. We have a lot of guys
from Texas that will be competing at the collegiate level in their home state
for the first time ever. They're also having a podium at the arena, which will
be new for us but something they use for the U.S. national championships, so
it'll be a treat to be there for that. Lastly, going up against the defending
national champions, Illinois, it should be a good standard to gauge us by. Having
a big meet like that, where we have five other teams to compete against, will
be a very good opportunity to showcase our talents and hopefully come away with
The Metroplex Challenge will be a homecoming for seven OU student-athletes from
Texas. The event will mark the first time in their collegiate careers they will
compete in their home state. Senior Chris Stehl, juniors Presten Ellsworth and
Raymond White, sophomores Dylan Akers, Stanton Rehkemper and Michael Reid and
redshirt freshman Sergey Resnick all hal from the Lone Star State.
SCOUTING NO. 5 OHIO STATE
No. 5 Ohio State began the season last weekend by tying defending national
champion Illinois for second place at the Windy City Invitational in Chicago.
OSU earned a team score of 427.750 and tied for first place on high bar with
The Buckeyes are ranked in the top 10 nationally in all six events after their
first meet. OSU is second on floor (73.700) and high bar (70.950), third on
vault (73.150), fourth on pommel horse (70.850), seventh on parallel bars (70.100)
and 10th on rings (69.000). Ohio State gymnasts are ranked nine times across
all six events in the individual top 20 rankings.
OSU is under the direction of second-year head coach Rustam Sharipov. OSU
is 13-15-1 with Sharipov at the helm and finished fifth in the Big Ten last
season. Sharipov was an OU assistant from 2005-11 under Mark Williams.
SCOUTING NO. 6 ILLINOIS
No. 6 Illinois, the defending national champions, tied Ohio State for second
at the Windy City Invitational last weekend with a score of 427.750. The Illini
won the pommel horse and parallel bars. UI opened the season by defeating then-No.
15 UIC 425.450-385.750.
Illinois is ranked in the top 13 nationally in all six events. The Illini
are second on still rings (73.200), parallel bars (71.900) and pommel horse
(71.750), 10th on vault (71.450) and floor (71.075) and 13th on high bar (67.225).
Fourteen UI gymnasts are ranked in the top 20 of the individual rankings on
all six events and the all-around.
Head coach Justin Spring and the Illini are 4-1-1 this season. Spring is in
his fourth season as head coach after winning the NCAA and Big Ten championships
last season with a 28-2 record.
SCOUTING NO. 8 IOWA
No. 8 Iowa opened its season Saturday at the Windy City Invitational with
a fifth-place finish. The Hawkeyes had a score of 422.350 and won three individual
Iowa is ranked in the top 13 nationally in all six events one meet into the
season, ranking fifth on rings (71.900) and parallel bars (71.150), sixth on
high bar (69.550), seventh on floor (71.900), ninth on vault (71.700) and 13th
on pommel horse (66.150). The Hawkeyes are represented eight times in the individual
top 20 rankings on four events and the all-around.
Iowa is 1-4 this season under the leadership of head coach JD Reive. In his
third season, Reive and the Hawkeyes are coming off a sixth-place finish in
the Big Ten and a 3-22 season.
SCOUTING TEXAS AND TEXAS A&M
Club teams from both the University of Texas and Texas A&M will compete at
the Metroplex Challenge. The Longhorns and Aggies are not ranked in any team
or individual categories.
In a season, an NCAA team can count wins against two club teams. OU defeated
Arizona State's club team in the first weekend of the year, so if it beats both
Texas and Texas A&M, only one win will be added to the Sooners' overall season
GYMINFO NATIONAL RANKINGS
Oklahoma is fourth in this week's GymInfo National Top 10 Rankings. The rankings
are determined by averaging a team's total scores through the first two weeks
of competition. Past and future OU opponents are in bold.
| 1. Penn State (444.375)
|| 6. Illinois (426.600)
| 2. Stanford (431.625)
|| 7. Minnesota (425.750)
| 3. Michigan (431.300)
|| 8. Iowa (422.350)
| 4. OKLAHOMA (428.750)
|| 9. Nebraska (420.400)
| 5. Ohio State (427.750)
|| 10. California (418.525)
LAST WEEKEND AT THE STANFORD OPEN
Oklahoma finished second at the four-team Stanford Open with a score of 433.450
Saturday at Burnham Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. No. 4 OU finished 4.1 points
behind No. 3 Stanford, who scored a 437.550. No. 6 California finished third
with 425.900, followed by No. 5 Nebraska with 421.900.
The Sooners won team event titles in the floor exercise and parallel bars
with scores of 75.850 and 71.700, respectively. Stanford won every other team
The individual event titles all went to gymnasts from Cal or Stanford. The
Golden Bears claimed five individual event titles, while the Cardinal won one,
the parallel bars.
No. 4 Oklahoma 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