MOORE — For two years, Michael Squires was the hunter. The Edmond native fought and clawed his way onto the Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team and up the ladder until he won a national championship on the rings last year.
“When you are at the bottom of the mountain looking up, it’s really easy to see where you need to go. When you’re at the top it’s hard to really challenge yourself, so trying to stay hungry is the toughest part. It’s really easy to say I’ve won so I don’t have to work as hard as I did to get here. But that’s not how I operate.”
Now, Squires returns for his junior year at OU. With an individual title under his belt, the same passion to win a championship may have subsided slightly. But it has been replaced with a hunger that may be just as strong.
“I am always trying to push myself,” Squires said. “Now my mindset is more of trying to leave a legacy at OU. I want people to remember me as one of the best ring guys they’ve ever had at OU. One of the strongest guys they’ve ever seen in the sport. So, I’m trying to put myself in the realm of Brandon Wynn and some of the top guys in the country.”
So far, Squires and the Sooners have gotten off to an almost perfect start. They began the regular season with a convincing victory at the Rocky Mountain Open on the campus of the Air Force Academy last weekend. The 443.150 points they posted was enough to vault them from No. 2 up to No. 1 in this week’s rankings.
Oklahoma earned the highest team scores of the competition on each event and had the highest individual score on five of the six events, including junior Alec Robin on floor, junior Sergey Resnick on pommel and parallel bars, Squires on still rings and senior Raymond White on vault. In addition, junior Danny Berardini also took the all-around title with an 86.950.