NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team was voted No. 10 in the GymInfo Coaches’ preseason top-25 poll released Friday. It marks the highest preseason ranking in the program’s history and one spot better than last year’s No. 11 ranking.
“I am very proud of the student athletes of the past five years who have laid the foundation for this year’s team,” said head coach Steve Nunno. “I am also humbled by the votes of the other coaches around the country who believe the University of Oklahoma is now a top-ten program and among the great teams in NCAA women’s gymnastics. I have every confidence that this year’s squad will be our best ever.”
Georgia was voted No. 1 receiving 15 first place votes followed by Utah (five first place votes), UCLA (three first place votes) and Alabama (two first place vote).
All four teams from the Big 12 made the list, Nebraska was voted No. 8, Iowa State No. 11 and Missouri came in at No. 16. All three teams improved from last year’s rankings.
OU finished third in the Big 12 Championship last season and 12th at the NCAA Championships. Nunno’s 2006 team will feature nine letterwinners from last year’s team that made the program’s fifth appearance at the NCAA Championships. Four newcomers also highlight the 2006 squad including freshman sensation Haley DeProspero and UCLA transfer Lori Winn. Both gymnasts will add excellent depth to the roster and will look to have an immediate impact for the Sooners.
OU will compete against seven teams ranked in the preseason poll in 2006 (three in the top 10) and it will open up the season in Cancun, Mexico on Jan. 6 against No. 1 Georgia, No. 9 Stanford, No. 17 Arizona, No. 21 Denver and North Carolina State. The first home meet for OU is on Jan. 20 against Southern Utah at the McCasland Field House.
The following is a complete list of the top-25 as selected in the preseason by the coaches:
7. Louisiana State
11. Iowa State
12. Penn State
13. Oregon State
14. Arizona State
19. Brigham Young Univ
22. North Carolina
25. New Hampshire