Gymnastics: OU beats No. 2 Michigan
In a top-five showdown at the McCasland Field House Saturday night, the fifth-ranked Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team opened its home season in style, defeating No. 2 Michigan 351.400-347.000. Freshman Steven Legendre claimed his third straight all-around title with an 85.850 and OU scored team season highs on rings (60.000), vault (63.000) and parallel bars (58.550) to earn a thrilling come-from-behind victory.
“It’s a little early in the season to put it all together,” OU head coach Mark Williams said. “We had some mistakes, but being this early in the season I was happy with everyone’s effort. To be able to beat a highly-ranked team like Michigan is a big boost.”
Trailing by two full points, 114.800-112.800, after the two rotations, Oklahoma surged back into the lead with outstanding performance on rings and vault.
Spurred on by a boisterous crowd of 1,485 that Williams called “the best we’ve had in several years,” the Sooners closed the gap to 0.700 points on the rings. Senior co-captain Jonathan Horton, competing for the first time in 2008, scored a 15.600 to take the event title, while junior Jacob Messina recorded a season-high 14.950 to claim third place.
Moving to the vault, the Sooners took back the lead and never relinquished it. Though the Wolverines’ David Chan took the event title with a 16.150, Oklahoma gymnasts claimed the next six spots in the standings. Freshman Bobby Shortle and sophomore Ian Jackson tied for second on the apparatus with matching scores of 15.850, while juniors Kyle McNamara and Russell Czeschin rounded out the OU score with a pair of 15.650s and in a tie for fourth place.
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