Jake Dalton and former Oklahoma gymnasts aim to compete for spots in the U.S. Olympic Trials.
June 8, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - Four Oklahoma gymnasts sit in the top eight of all-around competition after Thursday night's opening round of the 2012 Visa Championships at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo.
The national championship of USA Gymnastics, the Visa Championships determine the final field of competitors for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in San Jose, Calif., beginning June 28.
Oklahoma junior and 2012 NCAA all-around champion Jake Dalton is in sixth place after the first round with an 88.950. Dalton trails Sooner letterwinners Chris Brooks (90.500) and Jonathan Horton (90.300), who sit in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
2011 Nissen-Emery Award winner and 2009 NCAA all-around champion Steven Legendre is in eighth place with an 87.850.
"Jake had a great meet," said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. "He is right on track for where he needs to be and I am pleased with his performance. Both he and Steve are in a good position and I'm proud of both of them."
Danell Leyva is in first place after posting a 91.850 on the first night, followed by John Orozko (91.800) and Sam Mikulak (90.550).
Legendre leads the field of 40 competitors on floor exercise after posting a 16.150 followed by Dalton in second place with a 15.800. Legendre, who competed for OU from 2008-2011, served this past season as an undergraduate volunteer assistant and trained with OU Head Coach Mark Williams in preparation for the Olympic qualifying process.
2008 Olympian Horton (2005-2008) is in first place on still rings after notching a 15.500 while Brooks (2006-2009) leads on vault with a 16.450. Legendre is in fourth place on vault with a 16.200 followed by Dalton in fifth with a 16.150.
The entire leaderboard for all-around competition and the six individual events can be found on USAGym.com/Visas.
The final day of the men's competition will take place on Saturday, June 9, and scores for both days will be added together to determine the all-around and event champions.
The 2012 Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics' national championships, features the country's best gymnasts vying for national titles and spots on the U.S. National Team in men's and women's gymnastics.
In an Olympic year, the championship has the added importance of deciding the field for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Anywhere from 15 to 18 gymnasts will compete in the Olympic Trials. The top six all-around scores will automatically qualify for the Trials along with four additional gymnasts using a unique points system. A committee and national team coordinator will determine the final five gymnasts.
The U.S. Olympic Trials are set for June 28-July 1 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The five men who will represent the United States in London will be determined by the Trials, subject to the approval of the U.S. Olympic Committee's board of directors.
NBC Sports will broadcast live coverage of the final day of both the men's competition, June 9 from 12-2:30 p.m. CT and live results will be made available on USAGym.com.