Feb. 5, 2003

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MEET PREVIEW
The No. 15 Oklahoma women's gymnastics hosts No. 17 Penn State in its third dual meet of the season Friday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. inside the Lloyd Noble Center. OU is coming off a defeat at the hands of No. 2 Nebraska, while Penn State defeated No. 31 Pittsburgh 195.425-193.850 on Feb. 1. The first 250 fans in attendance will receive autographed OU women's gymnastics posters.

"Penn State beat us in the Super Six Challenge and we want to avenge that loss," said OU Head Coach Steve Nunno. "Anytime you lose by a narrow margin it is because you beat yourselves (OU lost 194.375-193.275). I don't think that we will ever do that again. We struggled on bars then, but we have improved tremendously since then. Plus we are expecting Kasie Tamayo to compete this weekend and are hoping to get Leah Mueller back for one of these three home meets."

OU begins a three-meet home stand Friday evening in which they will also host No. 18 Iowa and No. 22 Missouri. Junior-transfer Karina Agafonova competed in the all-around at Nebraska for the first time as a Sooner and posted a 38.425, good enough for sixth place. Agafonova, Christy Gerard, Allison Landis, Kasie Tamayo, Kristen Cox, Patricia Aoki and Leah Mueller are all capable of competing in the all-around.

"This is the first big-time matchup that we have hosted this season," said OU Head Coach Steve Nunno. "We're excited being the featured team on campus Friday night. I fully expect the dual to come down to the final event. Penn State could be the most physically fit team in the country. They are very deep, like us, and I think this is the best team they have had in years. Friday should be very competitive and entertaining."

Penn State is 5-4 on the season and is riding a three-meet winning streak, which includes a road victory at No. 14 Denver. The Nittany Lions are led by senior Katie Rowland, who is ranked No. 15 on floor and No. 53 in the all-around.

OU hosts No. 18 Iowa, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m., at the Lloyd Noble Center. The first 300 fans in attendance will receive free OU women's gymnastics magnet schedules. Admission to the meet is $5 for adults and $2 for children. For more ticket information, call the OU athletics ticket office at (800) 456-GoOU.

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST

With the rash of injuries to OU's top performers and the acclimation of a few newcomers, OU is still waiting to field its top lineup. The late blooming Sooners are hoping for a healthy squad that includes senior Leah Mueller, junior Kasie Tamayo and freshman phenom Kristen Cox by the end of the month.

"This isn't the way that I would have planned it," said Nunno. "But I am resigned to the fact that we'll be late bloomers with all the injuries. We are being patient with the injuries because we don't want to burn them out. I was very encouraged by the score we put up at Nebraska without Tamayo, Mueller and Cox. Plus another veteran, Christy Gerard, was sick and missed the meet. So we are improving despite not competing with our full arsenal."

Mueller is rehabilitating from a strained patella tendon and could compete on Feb. 14 or Feb. 21. Tamayo may compete on bars, this weekend and work her way back into the all-around in the next meet. Cox is recovering from an achilles injury and should be in top form by March.

SOONER UPDATES

Karina Agafonova - Competed in the all-around with sixth place finish and 38.425.

Tara Anderson - Posted career-high 9.825 on uneven bars.

Patricia Aoki - Captain collected career-high in all-around for second consecutive meet with 39.325 at Nebraska.

Kristin Cox - Highly touted freshman still recuperating from ankle injury.

Meredith Fricke - Freshman continues to impress on floor and beam.

Nicole Gause - Competed on three events, top score of 9.800 on floor at NU.

Christy Gerard - Senior fell ill prior to NU meet and missed competition.

Kelly Haggerty - Ranked No. 9 in nation on balance beam, only Sooner in NCAA top 10.

Katie Hostler - For the first time in her young career she missed on floor scoring 8.700.

Erin Labarr - Sophomore is former walk-on who earned scholarship this season.

Allison Landis - Coach Nunno predicts perfect 10's on bars and beam for Landis before season is over.

Leah Mueller - Still recovering from injury to patellla tendon.

Melissa Smith - Freshman solid on bars with 9.850.

Kasie Tamayo - Recovering from pulled muscle in right calf, may compete this weekend against Penn State.

AROUND THE BIG 12

Iowa State Cyclones

The Iowa State gymnastics team remains undefeated at home after its 19th-straight win against the Iowa Hawkeyes Friday night at Hilton Coliseum (196.425-195.275). The Cyclones are now 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the Big 12. The squad is rated No. 21 nationally. On the vault, Jessica Oney finished in first place with a 9.850. Karen Kuplicki and Susan Stock placed in a three-way tie for third with Hawkeye Annie Rue (9.775). Erin Dethloff shared first place on the bars with Alexis Maday from Iowa (9.95). Chee Chee Calina took third place (9.90) and Laura-Kay Powell claimed fourth (9.875). Iowa took first and second place on the beam, but Iowa State's Abigail Richey, Calina, and Dethloff placed in a three-way tie for third with a 9.850. On the floor Dethloff and Powell claimed first place with career high scores of 9.925. Kuplicki, Gabby Layne, and Krystal Carney shared fourth-place with a 9.875.

Missouri Tigers

Junior Lindsay Davis won the all-around competition with a personal- best 39.425 against Illinois State, setting a new Missouri junior all-around record. In addition, it is the second-highest all-around mark in Missouri history. On her way to helping Mizzou post its highest team total in program history, a 196.475, Davis set two other personal bests scoring a 9.875 on the vault and a 9.850 on the uneven bars. She also scored top marks on the balance beam and floor exercise with 9.850 scores.

In addition to setting the program's highest team score, Missouri also set new heights on the balance beam scoring a 49.125 to take over the No. 1 spot. The Tigers' 49.075 on vault is the second-highest score by a Mizzou team and the 49.125 on the bars is MU's fifth-highest event final. Rounding out the quad, Missouri scored a 49.100 to record the program's eighth-highest floor score.

Nebraska Huskers Then-No. 4 Nebraska extended its winning streak at home to 47 as it defeated then-No. 17 Oklahoma. The Huskers posted four perfect 10.0s on three different events for the first time in school history for the 197.175-195.750 win. Junior Richelle Simpson ran away with the all-around title and became the first Husker to score perfect 10s on two separate events in the same meet. Simpson tallied an all-around score of 39.525 with perfect scores on beam and floor. Both scores were school and Devaney Center records. The Huskers had another strong start on their first event by breaking the school and Devaney Center record on the vault once again with a team score of 49.700, which is the best in the nation this season. Two Huskers, Jess Wertz and Tami Harris, scored perfect 10s marking the second straight meet NU has recorded two 10s on vault. A third perfect score was recorded in exhibition. NU had four perfect 10.00s on vault in history prior to this season.