Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gymnastics: Five Sooners Qualify for U.S. Olympic Trials

Jonathan Horton of the USA competes on the Pommel Horse aparatus in the Men's qualification during day three of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Tokyo 2011 at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on October 9, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan. (October 8, 2011 - Source: Adam Pretty/Getty Images AsiaPac)
NORMAN, Okla. – When the United States holds its 2012 men’s gymnastics Olympic Trials in late June, five of the 15 competitors will be current or former University of Oklahoma gymnasts.

Oklahoma junior Jake Dalton and Sooner letter winners Chris Brooks (2006-2009), 2008 Olympian Jonathan Horton (2005-2008), Steven Legendre (2008-2011) and Alex Naddour (2010-2011) were named to the U.S. National Team and advanced to the U.S. Olympic Trials after their performances at the 2012 Visa Championships on Saturday.

The Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics' national championships, features the country's best gymnasts vying for national titles and spots on the U.S. National Team in men's and women's gymnastics.

The U.S. Olympic Trials are set for June 28-July 1 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The five men who will represent the United States in London will be determined by the Trials, subject to the approval of the U.S. Olympic Committee's board of directors.

At the completion of Saturday’s final round of Visa Championships competition at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo., three Sooners finished in the top five of the all-around and claimed individual titles on all but two events.

Dalton, the 2012 NCAA all-around champion, took fifth place in all-around with a two-day score of 179.000, tying with Brooks. Dalton also earned the title of USA Gymnastics national champion on floor (31.500) and vault (32.400) for the second-straight year.

“Jake had a fantastic two days of competition,” said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. “He hit all 12 of his 12 routines this week and puts himself in a great position heading into the Olympic Trials.”

2008 Olympian Horton took fourth place in all-around with a 181.700 and claimed the still rings title with a 30.900. Naddour won the pommel horse title with a combined total of 30.100.

2011 Nissen-Emery Award winner and 2009 NCAA all-around champion Legendre finished in 10th in all-around competition with a 173.900 and took third place on floor with a 30.950. Legendre, who competed for OU from 2008-2011, served this past season as an undergraduate volunteer assistant and trained Williams in preparation for the Olympic qualifying process.

The five Sooners making up one-third of the Olympic Trials lineup helped secure the United States’ position in the 2012 Olympics by qualifying the nation with a third-place finish at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan last October. Of the seven members on the 2011 U.S. World Team, five came through the Oklahoma program.

/// SoonerSports PR
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