March 9, 2000

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics team, ranked ninth nationally, will compete in its last regular season matchup this Saturday against Ohio State. Competition is set to begin at 7 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio, at St. John Arena.

Scouting the Buckeyes...
This weekend matchup will mark the first time that OU has faced Ohio State under Sooner head coach Becky Buwick. OU looks to move its season record to 12-1, the best start for any Sooner women's team under Buwick heading into the Big 12 Championship.

The Buckeyes enter competition 7-9 overall record on the year. Despite team season-high scores on both the uneven bars (49.050) and the floor exercise (49.250), Ohio State fell to Pittsburgh and Michigan State in tri-meet action last Saturday in Pittsburgh. The Buckeyes recorded a team score of 194.325 to place third, while the Panthers were first (195.925) and the Spartans took second (195.150).

The Buckeyes were led by junior Lindsey Vagedes, who placed second in the all-around with a season-high 39.300 and claimed the vault title with a 9.875. Vagedes ties OU senior Amber McCracken in the national poll on the floor exercise, both are ranked 23rd in the event.

Sooner Men Head to Southwest Cup this Weekend...
OU's men squad will travel to the Tempe, Ariz., this Friday, to compete in the Southwest Cup. Penn State and Arizona State will also compete. Penn State is currently ranked fourth in the coaches' poll, after being ranked third last week. Penn State is led by all-arounders Jose Palacios, who is ranked second nationally, and Tobia Ekman, ranked 10th in the all-around. Adam Benas is ranked second on the horizontal bar. Arizona State fields a club team.

A Look Back at the Sooners

Women's Gymnastics
OU's women's squad claimed championship titles in all events en route to defeating Southern Utah, 193.625 to 192.725, at the Centrum Arena in Cedar City, Utah on Monday night.

OU senior Amber McCracken led the Sooners collecting her fifth all-around title of the season with a 39.000, while newcomer Patricia Aoki took third place in the all-around (38.750) behind Southern Utah's Suzi Clark (38.900). Redshirt-freshman Leticia Ishii tied McCracken with a score 9.800 on the vault to claim the first-place finish in the event.

Aoki and seniors Ginger Russell and Shanna Sanders were the other Sooners to finish first in an event. Aoki's 9.825 topped the floor exercise competition, while Sanders landed a 9.875 on the parallel bars to garner the win. Russell's balancing act of 9.850 allowed her to claim her sixth beam trophy of the year.

Men's Gymnastics
Oklahoma's men's gymnastics squad was defeated by No. 1 Michigan last Saturday (231.975-231.250) in tri-meet competition in Santa Barbara, Calif. Host UCSB took third-place honors with a score 213.750. The Sooners' overall season record moved to 9-2. OU's score of 231.975 was the team's highest score of the season.

OU freshman Shannon Carrion claimed two event titles on the floor exercise (9.950) and on the high bar (9.850) to lead the Sooners. Both scores set new career highs for Carrion, and his 9.950 set a new school record on the floor. Michigan took the remaining event titles.

A Glimpse at the Big 12...
For its performance this season in competition, the Sooner women's squad is listed first in the Big 12 Conference. OU leads all other conference teams with season-best scores in the all-around (97.225), the uneven bars (49.975), the balance beam (49.475) and the floor exercise (49.425). Oklahoma's Amber McCracken is ranked first for her season-best score on the vault (10.000), the uneven bars (9.975) and on the floor exercise (9.925), while teammate Ginger Russell leads all competitors on the balance beam with a season-best 9.950.

Sooner National Rankings...
National collegiate gymnastics rankings will be featured for both team and individuals Tuesday afternoons (men) and by 9 p.m. (women) Tuesday evenings. Results can be found at www.troester.com.