Sooners Take Down Top-Ranked Stanford at McCasland

Monday, 13 February 2023 21:25

Sooners Take Down Top-Ranked Stanford at McCasland

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Sooners Take Down Top-Ranked Stanford at McCasland OU Athletics Communications

NORMAN — The No. 2 Oklahoma men's gymnastics team registered its best all-around score since 2019 (418.900) to take down No. 1 Stanford (413.800) and No. 11 William & Mary (380.750) Saturday evening in front of a crowd of 1,773 at McCasland Field House. The Sooners remain unbeaten in the field house since 2007, a streak of 59 consecutive meets.
 
Junior Zach Nunez recorded an 83.550 in the all-around and freshman Ignacio Yockers scored an incredible 15.100 on pommel horse to lead Oklahoma to the victory on its annual Cleveland Night. OU's 418.900 was its highest team score since posting a 420.500 at the 2019 MPSF Championships.
 
The Sooners won three events – floor exercise (70.700), pommel horse (71.250) and high bar (68.450) – notching season-best scores on four events (floor, horse, still rings [67.750] and parallel bars [68.900]). Oklahoma eclipsed 70 points on floor and pommel horse for the first time this season and scored better than 70 on three events (also vault; 71.850).
 
"I felt like we had to be at our best because we were going against the best, and I just told the guys to put up your personal best and we're going to be fine," Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams said. "Get the crowd behind you, get the energy going in the building, and that's what we ended up doing. It was really fun to watch the last event. Every guy that went stuck his landing and we finished out strong."
 
In all, OU gymnasts tallied 15 season-best individual scores and set or matched 10 individual career highs.
 
"Ignacio's pommel horse routine was amazing. It was probably one of the best pommel horse routines that any OU gymnast has ever done. That was fantastic," Williams said. "Dan's vault again, two weekends in a row he stuck the double front. That was pretty amazing. Zach Nunez had a pretty good day in the all-around again. I'm really happy with the pommel horse team and the high bar team. Those two events, we've improved a lot since the beginning of the season."
 
Oklahoma led by nine points (350.450 to 341.450) entering the final rotation and turned in a meet-best 68.450 on high bar. Every OU gymnast stuck his landing and scored 13.500 or better on the event. Freshman Kelton Christiansen hit 14.000 for the second time this season and fifth-year senior Morgan Seyler notched a career-high 13.650.
 
OU started the meet strong with a 70.700 on floor, as four gymnasts scored 14.250 or better. Fifth-year senior Vitaliy Guimaraes posted a 14.350, senior Jack Freeman hit a 14.600 and sophomore Emre Dodanli scored a 14.250. Fifth-year senior Spencer Goodell anchored with a 14.900 – OU's best floor score of the season.
 
Oklahoma bested its previous best pommel horse score (67.550) by 3.7 points (67.750 tonight), as all five gymnasts scored 13.800 or better. Sophomore Raydel Gamboa (career high) and redshirt senior Braden Collier (season high) each hit 13.800 and freshman Mac Seyler posted a season-high 13.850. Nunez followed with a career-high 14.700. Yockers' 15.100 eclipsed the nation's best pommel score by two-tenths of a point.
 
On the third rotation, the Sooners once again outpaced their season best score with a 67.750 on rings. The previous high score was 67.300, set last week. Goodell led the way with a career-high 14.100, Morgan Seyler scored a 13.900, and Guimaraes and senior Alan Camillus each scored 13.400.
 
For the second straight week, junior Dan Simmons stuck his vault attempt, notching a 14.850. Four Sooners (Simmons, Dodanli [14.700], Nunez [14.500] and Morgan Seyler [14.100]) scored 14 or better in the event. OU's 71.850 was its third vault score of 71 or better in four meets this season.
 
Gamboa scored 14.000 on parallel bars in the fifth rotation to lead OU to a season-high 68.900. Dodanli led off with a 13.600, Nunez hit 13.900, Guimaraes posted a 13.550 and Goodell anchored with a 13.850.
 
Oklahoma travels to Lincoln, Neb., next week for a tri-meet against Nebraska and Simpson on Friday, Feb. 17. The meet is set to begin at 7 p.m.

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