On Saturday at the Lloyd Noble Center, the Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team progressed to the NCAA Championships Finals with a score of 407.290 in the Session II Qualifier. Additionally, Michigan (412.890) and Ohio State (407.956) progressed. Earlier on Friday, Illinois, Nebraska, and Stanford qualified.

“We all contribute to the spark,” OU freshman Emre Dodanli explained. “Every member of this squad rises up when necessary, and that is exactly what tonight was about.” The Sooners competed in Olympic order, winning the floor exercise with a score of 70.531. Dodanli kicked off the OU’s cycle with a 14.133, followed by junior Jack Freeman’s 14.066. For the first time since February 19, sophomore Zach Nunez competed on the court and earned a career-high 13.733. Senior Spencer Goodell finished third with a 14.266 and senior Vitaliy Guimaraes finished second with a 14.333.

On pommel horse, the Sooners finished with a team score of 63.432, topped by Nunez’s 13.900 in the individual event. Guimaraes finished third with a 13.633. Goodell recorded the Sooners’ highest still rings score of 13.700 in the third rotation. Fuzzy Benas (13.666) and Alan Camillus (13.533) both contributed to OU’s 67.865 score.

The Sooners heated up on vault, paced by redshirt junior Josh Corona, who won his first season-opening individual event with a 14.633. He was followed by Dodanli’s career-high 14.600, Benas’ 14.500, and sophomore Daniel Simmons’ 14.166, giving the Sooners a combined score of 70.699.

Benas led Oklahoma with a 14.266 on parallel bars, followed by Nunez with a 13.700 and Goodell with a 13.566, as the Sooners concluded with a 67.731 on rotation five. OU ended the night on a positive note, earning a 67.032, the night’s second-best score. Freeman finished third with a 14.033, followed by Gamboa with a 13.733 and Guimaraes with a 13.466.


Written by Joe Tussing

Joe Tussing is a former professoional MMA fighter and current trainer with more than 20 years experience in combat sports. Tussing is a writer, reporter and MMA personality living in Las Vegas.

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