NORMAN, Okla. – For the first time since 1981, the Illinois men’s gymnastics team came within one point of defeating the Oklahoma Sooners on their home turf. The Illini came in second in the tri meet with Oklahoma and Air Force, securing a team score season-high of 404,450.
“Today we showed the nation that we can hold our own against the best teams in the country,” head coach Daniel Ribeiro said. “Even with our first loss of the season, we took away tremendous values from this competition. Filled with belief, our team is more determined then ever to keep this momentum going.”
The Illini are now 7-1 on the season, earning a win from beating Air Force and taking the loss from No. 2 Oklahoma.
Illinois started the meet on rings, where sophomore Ashton Anaya won the title with a solid 14,000. Josh Cook came in second with a 13,600.
Next up was floor, where Connor McCool scored a 14,600, landing in second place, just a .10 behind first.
On pommel horse, Ian Skirkey was once again the highest scoring Illini with a 14,450. Max Farkhadau annihilated his career-high with a 14,100; his previous career-high a 12,000 which he scored at the Windy City Invitational earlier this month. Freshman Connor Micklos also broke his career high, scoring a 13,750.
Amari Sewell was the top scorer on vault, securing a 14,750 and, for the third-straight week, breaking a career-high. Last week, against Greenville, he broke his floor career-high and the week before, at the Windy City Invitational, he broke his vault career-high.
The next rotation for the Illini was parallel bars, where David Pochinka scored a solid 13,950, with Michael Fletcher right behind him with a 13,600.
Tate Costa took high bar by storm, securing his career-high 13,600. Evan Manivong was the next Illini in the event, taking a 13,550.
Fletcher was the sole Illini in the all-around, scoring a 78,700.
Illinois will come back home to open up Big Ten competition against Penn State on Feb. 4 at 4 pm in Huff Hall.