“I was like ’Is this just going to keep going?’ ” Brooks said with an exasperated laugh. “ ‘When am I going to just put it down?’ ”
Immediately as it turned out. Brooks steadied himself with 14.95 on still rings then exploded on vault, blasting off the block and completing three forward flips before sticking the landing. It was the confidence boost he needed as he rallied to tie Dalton and leave the selection committee with a tough decision.
“I’m happy with myself for coming out and really throwing down today and going out there like I had nothing to lose,” he said.
Even if it’s not enough to make the team. Brooks is considered an all-arounder, solid in everything but not always spectacular. The U.S. already has two of the best all-arounders in the world in Orozco and Leyva. What they could use are Dalton’s eye-popping scores on floor and vault — where he posted the top scores through all four rounds of qualifying.
“I just tried to hit my sets,” Dalton said. “I had a slip-up today on horse but I think I came out and did what I had to.”
Dalton certainly earned Brooks’ vote.
“That kid is sick, it’s disgusting,” Brooks said. “I watch him on the floor and I’m like I’m getting nauseous just watching you. It’s upsetting me. He’s just really talented and works really hard and there’s not a more deserving kid than him.”
Former OU gymnast Steven Legendre was eighth in the combined standings at 351.100, and former Sooner Alex Naddour was 11th at 348.100. Legendre posted the day’s top floor score at 16.200