Sophomore Dylan Akers is ready for back-to-back home meets.
After a start to the season with multiple weeks on the road, the gymnast will prepare his team for a meet against Minnesota this Saturday at 7 p.m. at McCasland Field House (located right across from Memorial Stadium.)
The sophomore captain talked this week to see how he and the Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team are preparing for their first home meet of the season.
How would you describe the team’s performance at this point in the season?
Dylan Akers: We’re getting better each meet. That’s all I can really ask for. We’re in the gym. We’re working hard and improving on our hit percentage and how well we’re hitting. Now we’re starting to hit harder sits. Not only are we improving how well we’re hitting but we’re improving how difficult our hits are. I think as the season’s gone on just much better.
You’ve had slower starts to the season in the past. What has been the key this season?
Well, winning competitions is always a confidence booster. We only lost one competition but even that one we felt like we did a great job. I feel like each meet we’ve learned from and we’ve all collectively worked hard to get better after each competition
With a meet against Minnesota this weekend, how special is it going to be just to be back here in front of this home crowd?
I know I can’t wait. I’m extremely excited. Excited to see how the freshmen are going to react to be part of the home crowd. We’ve been doing a bunch of promotional things all week so hopefully we have quite a few people there. It’s going to be very exciting
What are the benefits of back-to-back home meets?
Back-to-back home meets? We need the rest. We’ve been on the road for four weeks straight. We had a weekend off last weekend but being on the road so much, it takes a lot out of you. It’s going to be nice to just be home, catch up on school work and everything we’ve been missing because we’ve been traveling and just getting that weekend of not raveling to just rest and build confidence
What was the biggest challenge about being away?
A lot of us our pretty beat up from all the traveling and training, to say the least. It’s nice to not have to worry about waking up at 4 in the morning to get on a bus to travel for 13 hours.
What has surprised you more this year that you didn’t think would be happening
For me personally, I’ve been getting hurt so that’s frustrating. I’ve been having little nagging things here and there so I’ve just been trying to work with that as best I can. I feel like everything’s getting better now with all the rest we’ve been getting. Some surprising things with the team. More so then last year, I feel like as a team we’ve been improving. Last year we kind of would have roller coaster meets where we’d do great one meets and then we’d do ok but we never really felt like we unified and had good meets. I feel like we’re doing that more and more as a group with the guys. That’s really exciting for me.