NORMAN — The latest round of men’s gymnastics rankings comes out today and should the Sooners hold their top spot, it will once again be Oklahoma’s men and women atop the collegiate gymnastics world.
That’s because the new women’s rankings arrived Monday and the Sooners were, indeed, back on top after a blisteringly strong performance at the Metroplex challenge over last weekend.
Also, later this week, both teams will be in action. Select members of the men’s team will be at the Winter Cup Thursday night in Las Vegas.
The next day, the women will be competing in, perhaps, their biggest event of the regular season, the Perfect 10 Challenge at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
There, coach K.J. Kindler’s top-ranked team will take on No. 2 Florida, No. 7 Michigan and West Virginia.
They’ll be defending the top ranking they earned back by outlasting No. 3 LSU, No. 17 Arizona and Kentucky last Friday in Fort Worth.
In posting a final team score of 198.175, the Sooners secured the highest point total by any team this season, as well as the second highest score in program history.
OU outlasted the competition in Fort Worth just a few days after being upset at home by LSU. Kindler enjoyed watching her squad redeem itself.
“I’m not really focused on the score tonight, but the performance that we gave," she Kindler said. "We got mentally stronger tonight. Coming in after a couple of weeks of very tough competition, this was a defining moment. It was very important for them to walk in here and fight for it, and I saw that. I saw heart, and that's what it's all about."
OU was given back the top ranking by virtue of its team average score inching up to 197.446, fractionally higher than Florida’s 197.392 and LSU’s 197.379. The rankings being a function of team scoring average, the Sooners, Gators and Tigers lead a top 10 that also includes, in order, Utah. Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, UCLA and Auburn.
After the Sooner women prevailed Friday in Fort Worth it was the men’s turn, and the Sooners were surprised by No. 3 Stanford after losing a lead during their final rotation on the parallel bars.
It was OU’s first loss of the season and could cost it the top spot in the rankings when the new batch is released today.
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