OU Men's Gymnastics Finishes As National Runner-Up

Saturday, April 20th 2013, 10:59 pm
By: News 9

For the third straight season, the University of Oklahoma men's gymnastics team captured a second-place finish at the NCAA Championship Saturday night at Penn State's Rec Hall. It marks the 13th consecutive season in which the Sooners, led by head coach Mark Williams, have finished in the top three nationally.

In a final that went back-and-forth between the Sooners and Michigan, OU posted a 440.100 to finish just behind UM's 443.200. The margin between the two teams was as close as 0.150 points after the fourth rotation and 0.400 points going into the final event.

"I thought this was a fantastic night for us," Williams said. "We hit 100 percent, stuck a lot of dismounts, exceeded all the expectations I've ever had for this team. This is the most excited I have ever been to be second, so I'm thrilled. We have been second six times in the last fourteen years, so these guys have been amazing."

In the past 14 years, all under Williams, Oklahoma has never finished below fourth nationally.

Since 2000, OU is the only collegiate men's gymnastics program to finish in the top four every year at the NCAA Championships, a streak that includes five NCAA championships and six second-place finishes. Oklahoma came in second in 2011 and 2012 as well.

OU gymnasts claimed event highs on three apparatuses. Michael Squares scored a meet-high 15.800 on rings, Alec Robin notched a 15.400 on vault and Michael Reid's 15.150 was also a meet high.

Robin, a sophomore, posted a career high 86.650 in the all-around to finish in fifth place and earn All-American honors for the first time in his career. Michigan's Sam Mikulak won the all-around title. Individual event national champions will be awarded on Sunday.

The individual event championship will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. OU will have 11 representatives in the individual event finals.