Saturday's meet against Michigan will have a postseason feel.
March 8, 2012
By Andrew Gilman
NORMAN, Okla. - The national championships are still more than a month away for the top-ranked Oklahoma men's gymnastics team.
But Saturday against Michigan will sure feel like the postseason.
The Sooners will play host to the Wolverines at 7 p.m. in what really amounts to a national championship tune-up as OU will be inside the Lloyd Noble Center, with the same setup and same appearance as the upcoming April NCAA title meet.
"We're definitely excited about it," said junior Troy Nitzky. "We can see how everything is going to look for the championships, how everything is set up, how the lights look and the coloring."
OU hasn't had a meet at the Lloyd Noble Center since the 2006 national championships when the Sooners won it all. OU also won it inside Lloyd Noble in 2002.
So, a switch this weekend from the McCasland Fieldhouse is a welcome change for coach Mark Williams and his team.
"It's been a great venue for us the last two times," Williams said.
And things are shaping up for more of the same this year.
The Sooners have won eight national titles in men's gymnastics and are on pace for a ninth. OU has been ranked No. 1 the past seven weeks. Meanwhile, the past two times the Sooners have played host to the national championship, they have won it.
And this year, the Sooners are led by Jake Dalton, last year's NCAA champion on floor and vault, and Nitzky, an All-American on rings.
"It will be like another home meet for us," Nitzky said. "We're not really looking at the opponent this week. We're just trying to make sure we have everything right."
"For my guys, it's about being comfortable here and getting ready for the NCAA 2012 championship."
Oklahoma is hosting the 2012 NCAA Championship at the Lloyd Noble Center, April 19-21. The NCAA Championships include two qualifying sessions on April 19, team finals on April 20 and event finals on April 21.
All session tickets to the NCAA Championships ($25 Adult, $15 Youth and OU Students) include a ticket to all four sessions.
Single-session tickets will go on sale the first day of competition at the Lloyd Noble Center at least an hour prior to competition beginning. All tickets are general admission.