OU Men’s Gym: Sooners Capture Road Win at Simpson

Saturday, 17 February 2024 20:30

OU Men’s Gym: Sooners Capture Road Win at Simpson

Written by OU Athletics Communications News Release
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Photo by Morgan Givens/University of Oklahoma Photo by Morgan Givens/University of Oklahoma OU Athletics Communications

INDIANOLA, Iowa – The Oklahoma men's gymnastics team swept every event and six different gymnasts won event titles as the No. 1 Sooners claimed a 400.600 to 360.950 road win at No. 14 Simpson College Saturday afternoon at Cowles Fieldhouse.

Redshirt freshman Leo Koike won the vault title with a career- and meet-high 14.900. Sophomore Ignacio Yockers notched a 14.850 to win pommel horse, sophomore Kelton Christiansen won high bar with a 14.200 and senior Zach Nunez won parallel bars with a 13.850. Junior Matt Burgoyne started OU's floor exercise rotation with a 13.750 and won the event, while sophomore Adriel Perales-Valencia won the still rings title with his 13.450.

The Sooners registered their fourth straight 72-plus on vault, scoring a 72.400, as all five gymnasts hit in the 14s. OU scored 66.700 on floor exercise, 67.700 on pommel horse, 65.750 on still rings, 65.950 on parallel bars and 62.100 on horizontal bar.

"Our vault team was really good, and better than expected, so I was really happy about that," Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams said. "We gave some guys opportunities to see what they could do. A few of those guys took advantage of that and did a nice job. Ignacio did excellent on pommel horse again and had a really good p-bars set. Zach Nunez kind of stepped up on two events that he hasn't been doing in vault and p-bars. There were some highlights to have out there. We understood that not having some of our top guys out there that there was going to be some tradeoff in terms of the lineup, but I did expect a better performance than we ended up having."

Burgoyne started the meet for OU with his 13.750 on floor, freshman Nico Hamilton notched a 13.700 and Koike scored a 13.650. Nunez and Yockers capped Oklahoma's pommels rotation with their respective 14.000 and 14.850 scores after Christiansen started the event with a 13.400, his second-highest score of the season on pommel horse.

Freshman Max Bereznev led off for OU on still rings, notching a career-high 13.350 in his second career rings routine. Perales-Valencia claimed the event title with his 13.450 in the fourth position in the rotation.

Oklahoma gymnasts claimed the top five spots in the vault standings. Burgoyne started with a 14.150 in his first vault for the Sooners, freshman Tyler Flores followed with a 14.450, Koike stuck a 14.900, and Nunez and Bereznev finished by each scoring 14.450. The 72.400 was OU's second-highest score on the event this season (second to last week's 72.850).

Nunez began the parallel bars rotation with his event-winning 13.850 routine, and Yockers matched his career high with a 13.650 score. Christiansen hit strong high bar routine for the second straight week, claiming the title with his 14.200.

The Sooners take a break from NCAA team competition next weekend for USA Gymnastics Winter Cup, which will be held Feb. 23-25 in Louisville, Ky. Fuzzy BenasColin FloresJack FreemanIgnacio Yockers and OU alumnus Yul Moldauer are set to compete at Winter Cup. Oklahoma returns to NCAA action March 2 at Michigan.

For updates and more information on Oklahoma men's gymnastics, follow the Sooners on Twitter and Instagram (@OU_MGymnastics) and like Oklahoma Men's Gymnastics on Facebook.

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