March 29, 2001

NORMAN, Okla. -- Five University of Oklahoma women's gymnasts earned All-Big 12 accolades after last Saturday's performance at the conference championships in Norman.

Junior Mariana Goncalves, sophomores Patricia Aoki and Leticia Ishii and freshmen Carla DeMartini and Kasie Tamayo all notched top-four individual finishes to earn All-Big 12 status. The Sooners, who finished third at the Big 12 Championships, had only two selections last season (Amber McCracken and Ginger Russell).

"The girls who made the All-Big 12 team are the girls that have been doing it for us all year long, "said OU Co-Head Coach Steve Nunno. "These are the girls who have applied themselves and basically improved in every competition. These are the girls who worked hard, week in and week out. Kudos to them. They deserve the honor."

Ishii was the lone Sooner to earn all-conference honors in two events. She finished third in the all-around with a score of 39.375 and fourth on the floor exercise (9.900). Two other gymnasts made All-Big 12 on the floor as Goncalves and Aoki each tallied a 9.925 to tie for second. OU's 49.475 team total on the floor exercise was a conference best and tied a school record.

Two newcomers also garned all-conference honors with DeMartini finishing third on vault (9.850) and Tamayo taking fourth place in the all-around (39.275).

"The performance by our of freshmen show what a great future our program has," said Nunno, Big 12 Co-Head Coach of the Year. "Kasie (Tamayo) has been our rock this year, competing in every meet, and Carla (DeMartini) should be commended for her diligent work that let her make it back to full strength. Their success should inspire those girls we have coming in."