NCAA gymnastics: Sooners clean up at event championships

Jake Dalton was among seven Sooners who competed for event championships and combined for 11 total All-American awards.
BY RJ YOUNG, For The Oklahoman Published: April 21, 2012

— A night after claiming the NCAA all-around crown, Jake Dalton won the NCAA title on parallel bars and became the first Sooner gymnast to be named an All-American in six events Saturday in the NCAA men's gymnastics championships at Lloyd Noble Center.

He was among seven Sooners who competed for event championships and combined for 11 total All-American awards.

OU co-captain Troy Nitzky was named All-American after posting a score of 14.75 on rings. He was one of three Sooners who earned All-American honors in that event.

“It feels good to work that hard and come out on top,” Nitzky said.

The Sooners had won the last six NCAA floor exercise titles dating back to the collegiate career of Olympian Jonathan Horton — two years before the NCAA adopted its new scoring format.

But finishing second on the event didn't faze Dalton. He was excited for his teammates.

“We had 12 opportunities to All-American, and we got 11 out of 12 today,” Dalton said. “My teammates killed it, and I'm proud of them.”

With a score of 14.95 on parallel bars, Danny Berardini became OU's first freshman All-American in two years and won third place in the event.

“I wanted to come in here tonight and just do what I've been doing all year,” Berardini said. “I just wanted to get through a good clean set and be aggressive with it. I'm as happy as I can be.”

Nitzky was more reserved and already has an eye on winning the 2013 team championship.

“Dynasty is what we continue to say, but that won't continue until we win another national championship,” Nitzky said. “We're back in the gym tomorrow, working harder so we can be No. 1 next year.”

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