The Sooners are impressive and finish as national finalists
|No. 1 Stanford||No. 2 Oklahoma||No. 3 Michigan||No. 4 Nebraska||Ohio State No. 5||No. 6 Illinois|
|Effects||Bryan Perla (STAN)||14,800|
|pH||Chase Clingman (PSU)||14,000|
|RS||Riley Loos (STAN)||14,600|
|Vermont||Paul Judah (MICH)||15,000|
|BP||Curran Phillips (STAN)||15.233|
|HB||Brody Malone (STAN)||14,700|
NORMAN — Hosting the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2015, Oklahoma’s men’s gymnastics team posted their second best score of the season (414.555) to finish as national runners-up in front of a spirited crowd at the Lloyd Noble Center Saturday. Stanford took first place (423.628), Michigan third (414.490), Nebraska fourth (414.490), Ohio State fifth (399.326) and Illinois sixth (398.523).
Oklahoma has finished in the top two in 19 of the last 21 NCAA championships.
“We had young guys who needed to understand what we were doing and I was really happy with how they adapted and how quickly they adapted, and kept the tradition that we have,” said the OU head coach. Mark Williams. “We’ve had, since I won my first in 2002, we’ve been first or second 19 out of 21. Which when you think about it, I can’t even believe it. And even tonight, I I can’t believe we did it again. I’m so glad these guys have faith in what we’re doing as a program and that my former students are even coming back and helping these guys improve.
Eight Sooners have earned 15 All-America honors at the championships, the most All-America honors in the program since 2017.
First-year student Fuzzy Benas (VT, HB, AA), Freshman Raydel Gamboa (PB, HB, AA) and senior Vitaliy Guimaraes (FX, PH, AA) finished in the top five in the all-around. Gamboa took third place (83.398), Guimaraes fourth (83.364) and Benas fifth (82.399). The three honors put Guimaraes within six career All-America honors.
First-year student Emre Dodanli won two All-America honors (FX, VT). Second year Zach Nunez (HP), senior spencer goodel (FX), junior Jack Freeman (HB) and junior red shirt Cesar Gracia (HB) each got the first of their careers.
OU started the night on pommel horse, scoring 66.298. Nunez led OU with a 13.833 to take third place in the event. Guimaraes tallied a 13.766 to place fifth and Gamboa and redshirt junior Braden Necklace each scored a 13.033 as the Sooners finished the first rotation in fifth place.
On fixed rings, junior Alain Camille led OR with a 13.833. Gamboa also recorded a 13.833 but that did not count towards the team’s score. Benas had a 13.600 and Goodell a 13.566, and the Sooners finished with a 67.898.
In the third rotation, Oklahoma scored a 71.098 on vault to propel themselves into third place, led by freshmen Benas and Dodanli, who scored a career-high 14.733 apiece for Dodanli and tied fourth in the event. Guimaraes recorded a 14.333 and a redshirt junior Josh Corona a 14.266.
OU was led by Gamboa on parallel bars with a career-high 14.066, seventh in the event. Guimaraes scored a 13.866 and the Sooners finished the event with a 68.865 to stay in third place
The Sooners narrowly jumped to second place posting their best high bar score of the year with a 69.856. Freeman tied for third on the event (14.266), Benas was fifth (career-high 14.200), Gracia sixth (career-high 14.033) and Gamboa was seventh (14.000).
In the final event, OU posted its second-highest floor score of the season (71.231) to push Michigan to the final standings. Guimaraes tied for third with a 14.600 while Dodanli took sixth with a 14.466 and Goodell seventh with a 14.366. Freeman landed a 14.266 and Gamboa a 14.232.
“It’s as good as we could do,” Williams said. “At the start of the season we knew Stanford was going to be great. It was going to be a tough task. We tried and then to beat the rest of the field, I’m super excited to (finish) second, as opposed to 2019 where we probably should have won and we didn’t. It’s better.”
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