Thursday was a big day for Oklahoma.
Five current and former Sooner gymnasts had a strong opening day at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials in St. Louis.
OU's five representatives, plus head coach Mark Williams and assistant coach Josh Yee return to The Dome at America's Center on Saturday for the second and final day of trials.
Yul Moldauer, a 2019 OU grad, leads the Sooner contingent as he stands third place in the all-around with a 83.650. Moldauer scored 14.000 or better in five of the six routines. He sits in second place in the pommel horse and parallel bars.
“It's amazing (competing with OU teammates), Moldauer said in an OU press release. “”hose guys are my brothers and teammates. To be at the Olympic Trials with the teammates and guys you grew up with the last five years, talking about dreams and the Olympics and to be on the same floor with them at Olympic Trials, is incredible and gives off this certain type of energy.
“We all know what to tell each other and know each other's energy levels, and so to be back out there especially with Mark and Josh, too,” he said.
Allan Bower, a 2017 OU grad, sits in seventh place in the all-around competition with a 82.500. Bower scored three 14.000-plus routines and registered top-five finishes in three events, including his biggest score of the night on vault in the final rotation as he stuck a 14.500.
OU senior and two-time NCAA individual national champion Gage Dyer, who’s competing for a spot as an event specialist in Tokyo, had a strong night on the floor and vault events. Dyer posted 14.250 and 14.650 in those respective events and holds a share of fifth on both events after day one.
Vitaliy Guimaraes finished the opening day competition in 13th place in the all-around with an 80.250. His 14.700 on the vault ranks second going into Saturday’s action.
Matt Wenske, a 2021 grad, is just behind Guimaraes in 15th place in the all-around after scoring a 77.600. He score of 13.900 on the parallel bars has him tied for eighth in that event.
Due to an injury sustained in warmups, 2017 OU alum and World Championships team member Colin Van Wicklen had to withdraw from the Olympic Trials competition this weekend.
The Sooner contingent did suffer a setback, as 2017 OU alumnus Colin Van Wicklen was forced to withdraw after an injury during warmups.
Saturday's meet starts at 2 p.m. on The Olympic Channel, and coverage shifts to NBC at 3.