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April 7, 2013

Sooner men claim another conference crown

NORMAN — After scoring 435.350 points, the Oklahoma mens gymnastics team claimed the MPSF conference championship Saturday in Colorado Springs. It was the 20th time OU has taken the title home.

The second-ranked Sooners rolled past No. 4 Stanford (425.950), No. 9 California (419.550) and No. 11 Air Force (416.400) to earn the title.

“I’m ecstatic for the performance our team did today,” OU coach Mark Williams said. “When I looked at this team early in the season I didn’t expect a whole lot in terms of overall team success throughout the entire year, but they’ve met and exceeded all the expectations I’ve had for them.”

OU won five of the six individual conference titles. Sergey Resnick on pommel horse (14.500), Michael Squires on rings (15.650), Alec Robin on vault (15.500), Presten Ellsworth on parallel bars (14.800) and William Clement (14.950) all claimed conference championships.

All-time, Oklahoma has now won 116 individual conference crowns.

“We were very dominant in individual performances, where we won five of the six individual events,” Williams said. “It just makes today’s win even better. We certainly look forward to the challenge of the NCAA Championships coming up, and I think we put ourselves in a good position to contend for another national title.”

Williams was named the MPSF coach of the year while Ellsworth earned Gymnast of the Year honors.

Oklahoma will now prepare for its ninth NCAA Championship in Happy Valley, Pa. on April 19-21.

“Finishing the regular season ranked second in the country and then winning the conference championship is just thrilling,” Williams said. “It was great to see this group come together as a team and win championships. I can’t be more proud of them.”

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