ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Oklahoma juniors Alec Robin and Michael Squires couldn’t finish their first night of team competition with a national championship on Friday.
So they did the next best thing on Saturday: take home individual titles.
Led by Robin’s two individual national championships in the floor exercise and vault routine and Squires’ first-place finish on the still rings, the OU men’s gymnastics team ended the night at the NCAA gymnastics championships with eight athletes earning All-America honors. Fellow junior Michael Reid finished runner-up on the pommel horse with a score of 15.175, less than three tenths of a point short of first.
The Sooners finished with an All-American in each event after they finished runner-up behind Michigan in the team competition on Friday. The top-10 scorers in each event Friday advanced to Saturday’s competition.
“We didn’t hang our heads low, but coming into today it was a get back at them (moment),” Robin said.
Added Squires: “Having this is definitely a sweeter way to end the week. Obviously we wanted to get the first-place team trophy. … I think this was an appropriate way to go out.”
Robin ended his vault routine with a score of 15.250 after he stuck his dismount.
Robin, who entered the event seeded second, held the lead after Michigan senior Sam Mikulak briefly lost his balance as he landed.
Robin had offseason shoulder surgery and at first had a tough time returning to form.
“It’s really been a struggle for him to get back on everything,” said Oklahoma coach Mark Williams. “Tonight you could see him have that bounce, extra energy.”
But it was Robin’s floor routine, where he sat 10th entering the competition, that took him by surprise. After sticking his dismount, Robin watched seven gymnasts behind him come close, but ultimately edged Illinois’ Chandler Eggleston by .025 points for the title.
Squires, meanwhile, defended his title in the rings from last year with a score of 15.800. The walk-on out of Edmond missed out on .200 points extra after he took a step back on his landing.
“This year was a little bit more of a grind because I knew what winning felt like,” Squires said. “Coming into this meet, there was a lot more pressure. … You try not to think about it and just what you’ve been doing in the gym every day.”
Junior Danny Berardini captured fourth in the parallel bars (15.300) and eighth on the high bar (14.650) while junior William Clement took fourth on the high bar, finishing with a score of 15.050 and a stuck dismount on a broken foot.
Freshman Colin Van Wicklen rounded out the three-day weekend for Oklahoma with a fifth-place performance in the vault (14.950) and a sixth-place finish on the floor exercise (15.025).
“They’re really well conditioned, and three days in a row is really no problem for them,” Williams said. “Everybody competed great and everybody hit routines. So I’m very happy leaving with runner-up finishes and a couple individual champions.”