Sooners Set for Home Opener Saturday


1 Oklahoma

13 Air Force

Air Force Logo

Saturday, Jan. 22 / 7 p.m. CT / Norman, Okla. / McCasland Field House

NORMAN – The Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team opens its home slate on Saturday night in Norman at historic McCasland Field House with a matchup against the Air Force Falcons at 7 p.m. CT.

NOTES AND NUMBERS FOR MEET TWO

THE MEET
No. 1 Oklahoma returns to the floor Saturday evening for the 2021 home opener at McCasland Field House versus the United States Air Force Academy. The meet is available to watch via Bally Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT with Chad McKee and OU alum Peter Daggett on the call. Delayed coverage can be seen on Bally Sports Oklahoma at 10 p.m. CT Saturday. 

The Sooners look to tack on to the program’s undefeated streak inside the Field House of 76 dating back to 2007.

Free pizza will be available for the first 100 students and OU Men’s Gymnastics wristbands will be given out to fans while supplies last. 

LAST TIME OUT

Oklahoma topped No. 1 Stanford, No. 4 Nebraska and No. 10 Air Force with a final tally of 407.700 to Stanford’s 407.500, Nebraska’s 404.350, AFA’s 323.250 and ASU’s 375.900 at the Rocky Mountain Open. The Sooners won three events on the night and placed second in the remaining three. 

Freshmen Fuzzy BenasRaydel Gamboa and sophomore Zach Nunez swept the top three of the all-around to qualify for the 2022 Winter Cup held in Indianapolis, Ind., Feb. 24-26. Benas took the all-around title with an 83.800, followed by Nunez’s 81.700 and Gamboa took third with an 80.600. Senior team captain Vitaliy Guimaraes and OU alum Colin Van Wicklen have already qualified for the USA Gymnastics competition.

The Sooners started the night out on still rings, putting up a combined score of 67.250, paced by a 14.200 and a stuck landing from Benas, tying him with Stanford’s Mark Berlaga for first place on the event. Sophomore Dan Simmons helped the tally with his 13.600 performance, setting a career high.

For the second rotation, the squad put up a 71.050 on vault, good for the event title. Sophomore Zach Nunez set a career high with an impressive 14.450, good for a third place finish. In fourth on the event, Benas showed off his skills, earning a 14.400. 

OU saw the parallel bars for the third event of the evening. The freshmen stole the show with a 14.150 from Benas, putting him in third overall and a 13.950 put up by Gamboa, tying him for sixth. The Sooners tallied an overall score of 67.300 on the event. 

Moving to high bar, the Sooners collected 67.750 on the event, crowning them with their second event title of the meet. The squad was led by Guimaraes’ 13.700 and followed closely by Jack Freeman, Gamboa and Cesar Gracia, each good for a 13.600. 

The Sooners took on the floor exercise for the fifth rotation and tallied a 67.950. Benas took third on the event with a 14.100. Senior Spencer Goodell’s 14.050 debut following a shoulder injury in the offseason put him in the number four spot.

The Sooners collected their third event title on pommel horse in the final rotation of the season opener. Nunez showcased his strength as the last Sooner to compete, putting up a 14.000 routine, good for fourth on the event and bringing the Sooners to another Rocky Mountain Open victory. 

SOONERS NO. 1 IN CGA STANDINGS

Following the opening weekend of NCAA men’s gymnastics, Oklahoma holds the No. 1 spot in the College Gymnastics Association (CGA) standings. 

The Sooners posted the top score in the NCAA last weekend in their Rocky Mountain Open victory over No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 Nebraska, No. 13 Air Force and Arizona State, putting up a 407.700. OU holds the top team average (407.700) along with the top ranking on three of six events. The Sooners rank first on pommel horse (66.400), vault (71.050) and high bar (67.750) and hold second on floor exercise (67.950), still rings (67.250) and parallel bars (67.300). 

Individually, Sooners hold the top three spots in the all-around rankings, led by freshman Fuzzy Benas’ 83.800 score from the Rocky Mountain Open. Sophomore Zach Nunez holds second in the country after his 81.700 all-around effort and freshman Raydel Gamboa sits in third with an 80.600.  

On floor exercise, Sooners hold two of the top four spots in the CGA standings. Benas sits No. 2 after his 14.100 this past weekend. Coming off an injury in the postseason, senior Spencer Goodell is tied with Michigan’s Jacob Moore for third at 14.050.

OU holds two top-six spots in the pommel horse standings, led by Nunez’s 14.000 that is good for fifth place. Benas ranks sixth with his 13.800 performance from RMO. 

On still rings, Benas tied with Stanford’s Mark Berlaga for the title with his impressive 14.200 performance.

The Sooners have two in the top eight on vault, led by Nunez in the seven spot with a 14.450. Right behind Nunez, Benas (14.400) sits in eighth overall on the event. Junior Josh Corona sits just outside the top ten in 11th with a 14.250. 

Oklahoma put two gymnasts in the top six in the parallel bars ranks. Benas (14.150) ranks third, while Gamboa (13.950) is tied for sixth.

On high bar, five Sooners find themselves in the top 10. Senior Vitaliy Guimaraes and junior Jack Freeman tied each other with a 13.700, putting them fifth overall. Nunez (13.650) sits in seventh, and redshirt junior Cesar Gracia and Raydel Gamboa both put up a 13.600, placing them both in ninth. 

BENAS CLAIMS GYMNAST OF THE WEEK HONORS

University of Oklahoma men’s gymnast Fuzzy Benas claimed MOSF Gymnast of the Week honors for his performance over the weekend at the Rocky Mountain Open, the conference announced Tuesday. 

The freshman impressed in his first collegiate meeting, taking home the all-around victory at the meet. Benas won the title with a career-best 83.800 that ranks first nationally, along with putting up four 14.000-plus scores. The gymnast finished in the top four on four of the six events of the meet including still rings, where he tied for the event title with a 14.200, to go with big scores on floor exercise (14.100), vault (14.400) and parallel bars (14.150).

The Richmond, Texas native also registered a 13.800 on pommel horse in the final rotation, tying him for sixth overall and helping OU secure the victory. Additionally, with the first-place finish in the all-around, Benas qualified to compete in February’s Winter Cup.

UP NEXT

The Sooners will head to Palo Alto, Calif. for the Stanford Open on January 29, at 8 p.m. CT. 


For updates and more information on Oklahoma men’s gymnastics, follow the Sooners on Twitter and Instagram (@OU_MGymnastics) and like Oklahoma Men’s Gymnastics on Facebook.





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