The No. 2 Sooners will compete against the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines this Saturday at 1 p.m. in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Here are three things to watch for this weekend’s meet:
Lighter routines for some of the gymnasts.
Junior Gage Dyer, junior Alexei Vernyi, junior Matt Wenske and freshman Jack Freeman will be participating in the Winter Cup from Feb 18th to Feb. 22nd in Las Vegas. The Winter Cup is the qualifying event in which gymnasts will attempt to qualify and join the 2020 Olympic Team Trials.
“It’s likely I won’t have them do the all around this weekend,” coach Mark Williams said on Wednesday. “Just so they are not doing too much before (the Winter Cup).”
Expect some of the young guys like freshman David Sandro, sophomore Morgan Seyler, and sophomore Spencer Goodell to fill bigger roles while their teammates are readying themselves for qualifiers in Las Vegas.
The return of Vitaliy Guimaraes.
Sophomore Vitaliy Guimaraes missed the meet vs. Iowa last Saturday due to a concussion via a high bar release accident in practice. The sophomore was cleared to return to his normal routines on Wednesday. Guimaraes has been outstanding for the Sooners since his arrival in Norman, being named an All-American as a freshman, and winning five event titles in the three meets he has competed in this season.
“I expect to have (Guimaraes) compete on a limited basis,” Williams said.
In whichever event that Williams decides to plug Guimaraes in, he will certainly help this Sooner team.
A more comfortable and composed Sooner team in Ann Arbor.
The meet against Michigan on Saturday will mark the second time this season that the Sooners will have to compete against a top three ranked opponent away from Norman. The Sooners hope that their experiences in Palo Alto at the Stanford Open will prepare the younger guys for their upcoming competition.
“I think it is a big step for these younger guys. They already know what it’s like to compete against a really (difficult) team” Dyer said. “It is really going to help us going into Michigan’s house.”
With the lighter routines for some of the Winter Cup competitors, and the added experience of facing top tier competition away from home, expect the underclassmen to step up to the challenge on Saturday.