Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gymnastics: OU's Squires Crowned National Champion

Sophomore Michael Squires won a national title on rings and University of Oklahoma gymnasts earned eight All-American honors Sunday in the final day of the NCAA Gymnastics Championship in State College, Pa.

Squires, a sophomore walk-on from Edmond, Okla., won his first national title and was named an All-American for the first time in his career.

"There was definitely a lot more pressure," Squires said of today's performance. "Yesterday was probably my most confident set just because we had made it to team finals and we were just trying to put it all out on the line. I woke up this morning feeling nervous, I didn't get much sleep, I was just thinking of my set. It is funny because I normally don't hear anything during my set, but today I was able to hear everything cheering me on and that definitely gave me the roll to keep going."

As a team, the Sooners were awarded nine All-American honors at the three-day championship. Sophomore Alec Robin was named All-American in the all-around Saturday before honors on vault and high bar Sunday.

In addition to Robin and Squires, Kanji Oyama on floor, Michael Reid on pommel horse, Chris Stehl on rings, Danny Berardini on parallel bars and Ethan Jose on high bar were recognized as All-Americans.

The national title for Squires marks the ninth-consecutive season in which at least one OU gymnast has been crowned an NCAA champion. It is the 38th individual event championship in school history, which ranks fourth in NCAA history.

It is Oklahoma's first rings title since Jonathan Horton won the championship in 2008 and is the program's fifth still rings title.

This is just the second time in the last five years that OU has claimed All-American honors in all six events and the all-around. The Sooners have now earned at least nine All-American honors at each of the past nine NCAA championships.

Robin's 15.325 on vault earned him second-place honors, while Stehl notched a fourth-place finish on rings with a 15.375, just 0.025 shy of a top-three finish. On parallel bars, Berardini finished with a 14.850 and finished fifth.

Oyama posted a 14.700 on floor for a sixth-place finish, and Reid tied for sixth on pommel horse with a 14.575. Robin also finished sixth on high bar with a 14.700, ahead of Jose's 14.475, which put him in eighth.

William Clement and Raymond White also competed in the individual event finals on high bar and vault, respectively, but did not finish in the top eight.

OU now has 240 All-Americans and 38 individual champions in its illustrious history that includes eight national titles.

 Event Winners
 Event  Gymnast  Score
 Floor  Trevor Howard (PSU)  15.800
 Pommel  Michael Newburger (OSU)  15.450
 Rings  Michael Squires (OU)  15.775
 Vault  Fred Hartville  15.425
 P-Bars  Sam Mikulak (Mich)  15.500
 H-Bar  Sam Mikulak (Mich.)  16.100
 OU All-Americans
 Event  Gymnast  Score
 Floor  Kanji Oyama  14.700
 Pommel  Michael Reid  14.575
 Rings  Michael Squires  15.775
 Rings  Chris Stehl  15.375
 Vault  Alec Robin  15.325
 P-Bars  Danny Berardini  14.850
 H-Bar  Alec Robin  14.700
 H-Bar  Ethan Jose  14.475

/// SoonerSports PR
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