Men's gymnastics: Sooners beat Air Force by 20
Michelle Nehrenz, The Oklahoma Daily
With 1,197 people in attendance, the No. 3 Oklahoma men’s gymnastics posted its highest winning margin of the season with a 440.30-420.05 victory over No. 12 Air Force.
Saturday was not only Cleveland Elementary School Appreciation Night, but OU also welcomed the Air Force with Cleveland Elementary fifth-graders singing the national anthem. Students also carried out an American flag to the floor where the members of both teams helped hold it up.
“The environment was fantastic tonight," coach Mark Williams said. "We actually stepped it up a notch this week with the Cleveland Elementary student and having Jake Dalton doing a couple exhibition routines."
Dalton competed in the 2012 London summer Olympics.
The Sooners made sure to give the crowd a great performance with wins in every team event and five of the six individual titles. In his career debut for all-around, sophomore Jacoby Rubin claimed the all-around title with an 86.90. Fellow OU gymnast, sophomore Alec Robin finished second with an 86.00, a career high.
In their first event, floor, Robin posted a 15.20, setting the Sooners with a strong lead.
On pommel, the Sooners posted a season high of 74.50. Rubin’s record high post of 15.100 led him into first for the event with sophomore Sergey Resnick and sophomore Michael Reid triple-tied for second with Air Force Falcon, junior Nick Owen. They all posted 14.90.
Senior Troy Nitzky's also posted a career high with a 14.850.
On rings, the Sooners scored a 73.00, leading to an 11.20 lead just halfway through the competition. Senior Michael Squires posted a 15.45, leading to his third first-place title this season.
Vault, which was the worst event for the Sooners last week, ended successfully this week with a team score of 72.90 and a career high by sophomore Dylan Akers who posted a 14.90.
“We added some new vaults, which weren’t totally successful, but we actually had a better team score than last week,” Williams said.
Vault was the one event where OU didn’t win first place.
In the last two events, the Sooners scored a season high of 73.85 on parallel bars and a 71.50 on high bars. Junior Presten Ellsworth (14.95) and Robin (14.55) scored career highs on parallel bars. OU sophomore Danny Berardini won both of the final events, who a 15.200 on parallel bars and a 14.750 on high bar.
During the awards ceremony, the Cleveland Elementary students handed out hand-made awards to everyone who placed.
The Sooners are on the road next week. They’ll face No. 10 Nebraska at 1 p.m. March 3.