NORMAN — It was supposed to be a matchup of titanic proportions. No. 2 Oklahoma taking on No. 5 Ohio State in the final men’s gymnastics meet of the regular season would determine who was ready for the postseason and who needed some more work.
But, as they have done most of the year, the Sooners rolled over their competition with ease as they defeated the Buckeyes 441.250-426.750 Saturday at McCasland Fieldhouse. It was the type of victory they hope sends a message to the rest of the teams around the country.
“It was very nice to do that,” Senior Chris Stehl said. “I really wasn’t expecting to score that high. It’s definitely a plus for us. Now the other teams will see that with this new scoring system, we are able to score that high. Hopefully they will be scared of us.”
The 441.250 is the second highest scoring output of the season for OU (15-1, 4-1 MPSF). It came on a night when coach Mark Williams thinks his squad could have done much better in a few areas.
“It’s a confidence builder,” Williams said. We definitely need that with this kind of format of five up, five down. We really need some momentum and everybody needs to be comfortable and confident as they are doing their performance.”
The victory also extended the Sooners’ regular season home unbeaten streak to 23 consecutive meets. Neither of Oklahoma’s two graduating seniors have ever lost at home during the regular season.
“Everyone was just excited to send our seniors off with an undefeated home season in all four of their years,” sophomore William Clement said. “We were all just excited and ready to compete.”
Oklahoma jumped out to an early lead on the Buckeyes and held a six-point advantage after two rotations.
Ohio State, which is coached by former OU assistant Rustam Sharipov, was steady for much of the evening. Drew Moling, Jeff Treleaven and Misha Koudinov kept OSU competitive.