Oklahoma Claims MPSF Conference Championship

NORMAN, Okla. – The No. 2 Oklahoma men’s gymnastics squad hit six straight pommel routines in the final rotation to edge Cal and clinch its 10th conference title in 12 years in front of 923 fans inside McCasland Field House in Norman on Saturday night.

OU needed every bit of the strong finish, ending the night with a team score of 354.550 to the Golden Bears’ 354.450. The Sooners also took down No. 1 ranked Stanford, who placed third with a 347.150 team tally. Rounding out the scoring were Nebraska (341.650) and Air Force (329.500).

“It was certainly a great meet but it wasn’t easy,” said OU head coach Mark Williams “When it came down to the final rotation our pommel team stood up and I liked the way our team persevered at the end of the meet. The team definitely fought hard.

“It was nice to see the fans lift our guys up at times,” added Williams. “With the struggles we had early, we needed the fans to pull us through. We still have some work to do but this is a great way to head to the national championship.”

OU notched its 31st and 32nd individual conference titles under Mark Williams, as Steven Legendre (floor – 16.000 and Ian Jackson (vault – 16.200) won titles. It was Legendre’s 53rd title of his career, while Jackson posted his first win on vault since the 2008 season.

The Sooners improved to 15-1 on the year (7-0 at home) despite posting their second lowest event scores of the season on rings, parallel bars and high bar.

OU opened with a 57.800 on rings, its lowest tally since the season-opening Rocky Mountain Open. Oklahoma was paced by Pat Piscitelli’s 14.600. Jake Dalton and Troy Nitzky were not far behind, posting scores of 14.500 and 14.450, respectively.

The Sooners got back on track with a 64.000 on vault, their third-best result of the season. Jackson tied a career high on the apparatus with a score of 16.200 to pace OU, while Legendre also eclipsed the 16.000 barrier with a 16.05.

OU’s vault tally marked the fourth consecutive meet the squad has scored at least a 63.950 on the apparatus.

The Sooners posted a 57.200 on parallel bars. Corey English led the way with a 14.550, while Dalton added a 14.45. Legendre and Alex Naddour posted scores of 14.20 and 14.00, respectively.

Dalton paced Oklahoma on high bars with his 14.700, while Jackson was solid in scoring a 14.300.

OU posted four routines of 15.000 or higher on floor, paced by Legendre’s event winning tally. Bobby Shortle scored a 15.600, while Dalton and Jackson posted scores of 15.150 and 15.100, respectively.

Clinching the win on pommel, Alex Naddour scored a 14.700 as OU celebrated its 18th conference title in program history.

Oklahoma returns to action at the 2010 Men’s Gymnastics Championships, hosted by the United States Military Academy at West Point. N.Y., April 15-17.

The Sooners have won five national championships under the leadership of head coach Mark Williams and have claimed eight overall in program history.

Updated 04-04-2010

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