The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 30, 2014

Sooner gymnasts win conference crown

Squires sets new record on rings

NORMAN — There’s not much Michael Squires hasn’t done in his career at Oklahoma. That includes winning a national championship as a sophomore.

Despite that, 2014 hasn’t been the best for Squires. Even though he’s still winning, the junior from Edmond has been trying to find the wave that swept him to a rings title last year.

The wave may have come in Saturday during the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. Squires set a new program record when he scored a 16.3 on the rings at McCasland Field House. His previous career high was 16.150.

“He’s struggled a little bit throughout the season,” OU coach Mark Williams said. “Finding the right routine, having some problems with landings. I know he’s a kid who it means a lot and works really hard. And when it’s the most important, he’s at his best.”

According to Squires, he decided it was the right time to pull it all together after watching another competitor put up a big score earlier in the competition.

“Earlier in the meet when I saw Dennis Remsky from Stanford, he put up a huge set at 16.15,” Squires said. “I just was thinking to myself, if I’m going to beat that, if I’m going to put up a career high, why not do it tonight.”

Even more importantly, No. 1 Oklahoma walked away with the MPSF conference title for the third straight year and 22nd time overall. Its score of 446.100 was the team’s second highest output of the season. It was more than enough to hold off No. 3 Stanford, who ended with 436.700. California (427.150) and Air Force (425.650) rounded out the rest of the competition.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” senior Raymond White said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team. I couldn’t be more proud of our Sooner family. Proud is the word that just exemplifies everything tonight.”

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