Oka Earns All-America Honors
April 6, 2001
The University of Illinois' senior gymnast Leo Oka placed sixth in the all-around with a 54.075 to earn his second All-America honor in as many years and Oka and senior Linh Hoang qualified for event finals on still rings at the 2001 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships, Friday night in Columbus, Ohio.
Hoang posted a 9.40 and Oka scored a 9.250 to take fourth and seventh place respectively on still rings. Both gymnasts will compete at 7 p.m. on Saturday night for All-America honors (the top six finishers on the event will be named All-Americans).
"I had a solid competition tonight and I feel very fortunate to be an All-American among such a talented group of all-arounders this year," Oka said. "I only wish our entire team had been on the floor tonight competing for team honors as well."
Seven gymnasts competed in Friday night's competition, which is the most in school history. Oka had an outstanding night in the all-around scoring over 9.0 in four of the six events and recording his second highest mark in the event this season. He took 10th on vault (9.175), 13th on floor (9.10), 14th on pommel horse (9.00), 15th on high bar (9.00) and 23rd on parallel bars (8.60). Hoang placed 14th on parallel bars with an 8.775 and 16th on vault with a 9.10 to go along with fourth on rings. Sophomore Bob Spelic competed on parallel bars scoring a 8.775 for 14th and on vault placing 30th with an 8.95. Junior J.G. Ketchen placed 18th on still rings with a 9.00, while senior Jon Ham took 15th on high bar with a 9.00.
Ohio State took first in the team competition with a 218.125, followed by Oklahoma with a 217.775 for second place. California posted a third-place score of 216.775 and Michigan placed fourth with a 216.175. Penn State took fifth (212.125) and Michigan State was sixth (211.875) to round out the team finals. OSU's Jamie Natalie won the all-around national championship title for the second straight year.