COLUMBIA, Mo. The University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team lost a heartbreaker in Columbia, Mo., on Sunday by falling 0.250 short of No. 14 Missouri’s 197.000. OU led after three rotations going into their final event but opened the door for Missouri having to count two falls on the balance beam.
OU came roaring out of the gates scoring their second highest vault tally of the season, a 49.225. They also posted a season-best 49.525 on bars and a 49.475 on floor. However, OU’s 48.525 on the balance beam was its third lowest score on the season on the apparatus and it was also the only event the Sooners fell short on, Missouri recorded a 49.325.
“We had a great meet going into the last rotation and were looking like we might break the school record (197.725),” said Oklahoma head coach Steve Nunno. “We just had a couple of mishaps on beam which is uncharacteristic for us and that ultimately buried us in the end.”
Despite the loss, senior co-captain Kasie Tamayo was dominant again winning her third consecutive and sixth all-around title this season. Tamayo’s 39.650 was 0.025 short of the school record that she has posted on two occasions. She also took first on the parallel bars, tying her career-high of 9.950 and in addition tied for first on the beam (9.950) and on the floor (9.950, ties career-high).
“Another great performance from Kasie and that is her third all-around title in a row,” exclaimed Nunno. “Today might have been her best performance of the season. She was very confident out there and very excited about every one of her routines. She was our last gymnast on the beam and she was comfortable out there and looked like a senior captain with a 9.950. Unfortunately, that somehow was not enough, but once again she displayed her character and composure under pressure and I am extremely proud of her.”
The Sooners, ranked No. 2 in the nation on the uneven bars, posted a season-high 49.525 on the apparatus led by Tamayo’s 9.950. Three other Sooners tied for second on the bars, senior co-captain Leah Mueller, freshman Ashley Cooney and sophomore Tara Anderson all scored 9.900.
Individually, thanks to Tamayo and Cooney, OU took first place in every event. Cooney posted her second career-high of the day winning the vault with a 9.925. Cooney broke her previous mark on the bars and tied her floor exercise best with a 9.925, good for third place against Missouri.
Sophomore Tara Anderson also bested her previous career score on the bars with a 9.900. Freshman Tiffany Willin was impressive as well with a 9.900 on the vault, good for a career-high and a second place finish on Sunday.
The No. 8 Sooners (9-9 overall/0-3 Big 12) will host Texas Women’s University on Sunday, March 7, at 3:30 p.m. in the Lloyd Noble Center. It will be the final home meet for three OU seniors; Kasie Tamayo, Leah Mueller and Karina Agafanova.
Added Nunno, ”Today we were on track to break the school record but it was not meant to be. Now our goal next week will be to achieve that mark in tribute to our three seniors. It should make for a special meet.”