Sooners Score Big in Win over Cal

Saturday, 10 February 2024 20:54

Sooners Score Big in Win over Cal

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Sooners Score Big in Win over Cal Photo by Oklahoma Athletics

NORMAN – Redshirt sophomore Fuzzy Benas scored an 83.350 in the all-around and five Oklahoma gymnasts claimed individual event titles to lead the No. 1 Sooners to a 417.800 to 400.800 win over No. 10 California Saturday afternoon at McCasland Field House.

Benas also won the vault title with his season-high 14.850. Sophomore Ignacio Yockers registered a 15.450 to win the pommel horse title, which is the highest score recorded on any event nationally this season. Junior Emre Dodanli notched his second 15-plus score on floor exercise this season, winning the event with a 15.050. Sophomore Kelton Christiansen posted a team season-high 14.700 on horizontal bar, and senior Zachary Marckx won the still rings title with a career-high 13.750.

Oklahoma scored a season-high 72.850 on vault, setting a new season best on the event for the third straight meet. The Sooners closed the competition by scoring a 70.950 on high bar, its highest score on the event since posting a 71.150 on March 9, 2019, and its first 70-plus score on high bar since March 16, 2019 (70.100).

OU's 70.200 on floor exercise and 69.650 on pommel horse marked its second-highest scores of the season on each event. The Sooners also scored a 67.750 on still rings and a 66.400 on parallel bars. Cal posted a 68.050 on parallel bars, the only event in which it outscored OU, on its way to a season-high and first 400-plus team score of the year.

"I thought it was a pretty good meet," Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams said. "Ignacio finally put it all together (on pommel horse). That was a great set for him. High bar was great. We had some great sticks and great angles. Kelton was fabulous. Everything was right to a handstand, and he stuck the dismount. He really can't do that routine any better. I'm pretty happy with the way we finished."

Dodanli's floor exercise title was his ninth event title in five meets this season, and freshman Nico Hamilton set a career high with his 14.200 on floor. Yockers anchored pommel horse with his first 15-plus score on the event this season, and the fourth of his career. Junior Matt Burgoyne and Marckx set career highs on still rings with their respective 13.650 and 13.750 scores.

Junior Brigham Frentheway started the vault rotation with a career-high 14.550 and Benas followed with his season-best 14.850. Freshman Colin Flores scored a 14.300, freshman Max Bereznev notched a 14.600 and Dodanli anchored with a 14.550, as all five Oklahoma gymnasts scored 14 or better on vault for the second time this season.

Benas led the Sooners on parallel bars with his 14.300, before Oklahoma scored big on high bar in the final event. Senior Jack Freeman set a season high with his 14.300, followed by Christiansen's huge 14.700, which was OU's highest individual score on high bar since the 2019 season. Benas tied his career high with a 14.200 and Dodanli closed it out with a 14.150.

OU registered 13 scores of 14.000 or better in the meet and notched 10 routines with an execution score of 9.0 or better.

Oklahoma is now unbeaten against its last 74 opponents, encompassing 63 consecutive meets, inside McCasland Field House, dating back to the 2007 season.

The Sooners travel to Indianola, Iowa, next Saturday for a meet at Simpson College. The meet is set for a 1 p.m. start. It will be the first of two road meets sandwiched around the Winter Cup break. OU returns to McCasland Field House March 9 against Navy.

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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