The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 20, 2013

New scoring suits Sooners just fine as they move on

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Top-ranked Penn State will go for a NCAA men’s gymnastics team title Saturday night on its home floor.

Stanford and Iowa also advanced Friday night in the second qualifying session. Michigan, Oklahoma and defending champion Illinois moved on from the early session Friday.

Third-ranked Michigan scored 443.850 points, 10 better than No. 2 Oklahoma. Seventh-ranked Illinois was third with 426.900.

The NCAA is using a five-up, five-count format instead of the six-up four-count used in past championship events. Five gymnasts per team compete in each of the six events and all scores count. Coaches of the three qualifying teams agreed that the format helps bring interest to the sport.

“The level of performance is better and it makes all the routines that are on the floor meaningful,” said Oklahoma coach Mark Williams. “I think it leaves some doubt even as you go into the last event who will be the champion.”

Michigan coach Kurt Golder listed one drawback to the format.

“I like that everything counts,” Golder said. “What I don’t like about it is a guy who competes really hard and could maybe be an All-American, but because his team is so good he doesn’t get an opportunity to compete. That five-up, five-count denies opportunities.”

Illinois performed poorly on pommel horse early in the round with a 66.2, but scored well in the five other events. Minnesota earned only 65.850 on pommel horse. Illinois, the defending NCAA champion, finished third ahead of Minnesota by 2.2 points.

“I was nervous,” coach Justin Spring said. “I expect my team to go out and hit. Pommel horse was unexpected. I’m relieved but I’m not surprised that we’re here. That’s a different emotion.”

Michigan lost to Penn State and Oklahoma in regular-season dual meets, but earned a favorite’s role among competing coaches when it outscored Penn State in the Big Ten championships.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

  • Delany rides fence with PSU

    CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal....

    July 29, 2014

  • Murray St. aims to be OVC contenders

    Fifth-year Murray State coach Chris Hatcher has returned the program to OVC relevance thanks to his exciting “Hatch Attack” offense. The Racers will need more results if they hope to be serious contenders....

    July 29, 2014

  • Healthy Claiborne ready to show his worth to Cowboys

    OXNARD, Calif. — Morris Claiborne got on Terrance Williams’ nerves the minute the competition started at training camp for the Dallas Cowboys....

    July 29, 2014

  • Lions postpone Suh talks

    ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions are postponing contract talks with All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh until after the season....

    July 29, 2014

  • Peppers adjusts to 3-4 defense

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — Standing a sturdy 6-foot-7, Packers pass rusher Julius Peppers poses an imposing sight to opposing linemen even without pads. Good thing Green Bay’s front five only has to go up against Peppers in practice now....

    July 29, 2014