Know yOUr Sooner Olympians – Jake Dalton

Posted on July 11, 2012

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In the second instalment of get to know yOUr Sooner Olympians, we switch from Javelin to our first gymnast profile, current OU student-athlete Jake Dalton. At only 20, Dalton is going into his Senior year and will miss the first part of the fall semester to compete in London. Although, I have a feeling going to the Olympic games is a pretty good reason that not many athletes have used before! If you are not a gymnastics fan or watched before, prepare to be amazed and inspired. You really should try to watch the guys and girls because they defy gravity and pull on one fantastic show.

Dalton has shown his ability consistently the past few years for the Sooners, taking two NCAA titles in 2011 on vault (16.550) and (16.200). He also earned All-American status on the above, plus parallel bars and high bar. He continued this fantastic form into the 2012 NCAA championship where he took the All-Around title with a career-high 91.000, where he edged fellow Olympian, Michigan’s Sam Mikulak by 0.3. Dalton also became parallel bars champion (15.250) and earned All-American honors in all six events, which is a first in OU gymnastics history. He will be looking, after Olympic success to come back and lead Oklahoma to a 9th National Championship.

What does Dalton bring to Team U.S.A?

Dalton tied 4th in the All-Around scoring for Olympic Selection with 358.350 (ave 89.588) from the 4 scoring performances, two at the Olympic trials in San Jose and two at 2012 Visa Championships. Leyva (368.350), Orozco (367.400) and former Sooner Horton (361.500) scored higher, and he tied with fellow Sooner Chris Brooks. Dalton has many strengths which he brings to the team, and very few weaknesses.

Dalton brings the highest scores from the whole team on floor and vault. Dalton’s vault was consistently at a level no-one else out of the 15 Gymnasts competing for a spot in the team could match, even Leyva and Orozco . His 64.850 score beat second place by a huge margin (64.100) and considering only 5 gymnasts scored over 62.700, Dalton dominated the vault. It was a similar story on floor, where Dalton scored 63.600. Next best was 63.200 and to put that all in comparison, no-one else scored over 61.700!

That is not to say Dalton cannot or won’t put up great scores in other events, as he is strong across all events, with the possible exception of Pommel. Coming in at 13th place in this, was the only event Dalton was not in the top half with his scores, but do not let that take away from what he brings to Team U.S.A. The team, and a nation will be looking for Dalton come up big in London and lead on floor and vault and help post high scores in all events to hopefully, have a shot at Team Gold! Dalton is expected to excite on Floor, so watch out for an awe-inspiring routine to get the whole O2 area on their feet and cheering loudly!

Dalton Highlights

Jake Dalton is quite active on twitter and has over 11,000 followers. You can find him @Jake_Dalton so go ahead and show your support to a current Sooner, and Team USA Olympian!

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