USA Gymnastics Names 5 Sooners To U.S. National Team
NORMAN, Oklahoma - USA Gymnastics named the 12 members of the U.S. Senior Men’s National team on Saturday evening following the conclusion of the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Boston. Among the 12 members named to the squad, five are current or former Oklahoma gymnasts.
OU senior Yul Moldauer and former Sooner Allan Bower, who placed second and third, respectively, in the all-around at the senior championships, earned automatic spots on the national team with top-seven finishes. Joining them are OU alumni Kanji Oyama and Colin Van Wicklen, along with current Sooners senior Genki Suzuki. Suzuki made the U.S. national team following a ninth-place finish in the all-around at his first U.S. Championships.
“It’s been a very successful USA Championships,” said OU head coach Mark Williams, who was crowned Senior Coach of the Year by USA Gymnastics Saturday night. “I certainly want to congratulate our new senior national team members Yul (Moldauer), Allan (Bower) and Genki (Suzuki) from our program in Norman, as well as (former Sooners) Colin (Van Wicklen) and Kanji (Oyama), who now train at different locales. Guys have put in the work and deserve this kind of recognition.”
The eight-man World Team squad that will head to the World Team Selection Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 19-23 was also announced Saturday night. Of the eight named to participate at the selection camp, five gymnasts will be chosen to compete in Doha, Qatar, at the 2018 World Gymnastics Championships for Team USA.
Of the eight selected to the camp, three are past or present Sooners. Moldauer, Bower and Van Wicklen were named to the World Team and will look to be part of the contingent that heads to Doha in October to vie for a spot at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Additionally, USA Gymnastics released the group that will head to the Senior Pan American Championships in Lima, Peru. Incoming OU freshman Spencer Goodell, who claimed second in the junior-elite division all-around at this weekend’s U.S. Championships, along with Suzuki and Oyama will be part of the Pan Am Championships team that will compete Sept. 14-16 in Peru. OU assistant coach Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons will serve as the head coach of the Pan Am Championships team.
Added Williams, “We have three guys training for the World Championships squad in September and three more guys who are going to be part of the Pan American Championships, as well as Taqiy, who is going to be the head coach. I'm just really pleased with our continued success and the guys who have put the work in that goes in to these kind of opportunities.”