April 21, 2010
| No. 4 Seed Oklahoma at 2010 NCAA Championships
|Date|| April 22-24 | First Preliminary Session - Wednesday at Noon
|Location|| Steven C. O’Connell Center | Gainesville, Fla.
|Live Webcast|| NCAA Link
| Live Commentary
|| OU routines only (link will become live at start of meet)
|Meet Notes|| Sooners | 2010 Postseason Blog
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - In search of its first appearance in the NCAA Super Six Team Finals, No. 4 seed Oklahoma will compete in the first semifinal session of the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships on April 22 at Noon (CT).
The seeds are determined by adding the regional qualifying score (RQS) and score from regional competition to determine a national qualifying score (NQS). After listing them out 1 to 12 to determine the seedings, the NCAA prescribes the pairings 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12 in one session with the others in the alternate session.
Joining the Sooners in the first session are top-seed UCLA, No. 5 seed Utah, No. 8 seed Oregon State, No. 9 seed LSU and No. 12 seed Nebraska. Florida, Alabama, Stanford, Arkansas, Missouri and Michigan comprise the evening session.
The top three teams from each semifinal will advance to the Super Six competition Friday, April 23 at 5 p.m. (CT). The top four individuals from each session in each event (plus ties) from the preliminary team and all-around competition will compete in the individual event competition Saturday, April 24 at 5 p.m. (CT).
Tickets can be purchased by calling the UF Ticket Office at (800) 34-GATOR.
Oklahoma pushed its season record to 22-0 with its NCAA Northeast Regional crown on April 10. OU has won every meet this season by at least half a point. The Sooners are the only squad in the country with a pair of undefeated regular seasons in the last three years.
OU is 8-0 on the year against teams that advanced to the 2010 NCAA Championships and has won each meeting by an average margin of 0.98 of a point.
This year marks the Sooners 10th appearance at NCAAs in program history (1985, 1989, 2001, 2004-2010).
|Oklahoma Roster | 2010 Schedule and Results | Intro Video|
The Sooners open the regional on vault and will be on floor during the final rotation.
IN ELITE COMPANY
The Sooners are one of just five squads to advance to the NCAA Championships every year since 2004, joining Alabama, Florida, LSU and Utah on that elite list.
COMING ON STRONG
OU enters the NCAA Championships averaging a 197.350 in its last five outings, which includes three road events, two of which have come in postseason competition. Oklahoma has posted six scores of 197-plus this season, the most in a single season in program history.
BIG 12 CONFERENCE WELL REPRESENTED AT NCAAs
The Sooners are one of three Big 12 institutions to advance to the NCAA Championships, joining first-time participant Missouri and Nebraska. It’s only the third time in Big 12 history that the conference has had three NCAA team participants in the same season and the first since 2006. Oklahoma, Kindler’s Iowa State squad and Nebraska all advanced to the NCAA Championships in 2005 and 2006.
BIG SCORE COMPARISON
OU has posted 77 scores of 9.9 or higher this season, compared to just 24 all of last year.
Oklahoma claimed the NCAA Northeast Regional title at Penn State on April 10, its third regional title in program history (2004 and 2006).
“We had a lot of goals coming in and we met those goals,” said head coach K.J. Kindler. “One of our scoring goals was to hit a 197.000, which we met. I knew coming in that this was going to be one of the more difficult regions in the country. Travelling so far, with such great competition from Penn State, LSU and the rest of the Northeast region, we knew we had our work cut out for us. Overall, I thought they did a really good job of handling their bye’s which allowed us to be successful.”
Oklahoma shined on the ever-challenging beam in its final rotation, sealing its first regional title since 2006 with a 49.475 on the apparatus in the Sooners highest event tally of the night. Hollie Vise (beam – 9.95) and Jackie Flanery (floor – 9.95) added more hardware with individual event crowns.
NO “I” IN TEAM
OU has found a way to win despite the lack of a true all-around presence. Oklahoma’s only two all-around competitors this season have been Hollie Vise against Washington and Kayla Nowak at Illinois.
The Sooners were the only squad ranked in the final 2009 top-15 GymInfo poll without a gymnast in the top-25 all-around rankings.
Vise vaulted for the first time in collegiate competition en route to a 39.600 all-around score in the win. Nowak was a last-minute addition to the vault lineup at Illinois and placed second in her first collegiate all-around appearance.
LOOKING TO BREAK FIRST DAY BARRIER
The Sooners are seeking their first Super Six appearance in program history. OU’s best finish at the NCAA Championships is eighth place (2007, 2008).
BIG 12 THREE-PEAT
Oklahoma stands atop the Big 12 podium once again, as the Sooners clinched their third straight Big 12 title with a team score of 197.175 on March 27 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb. OU swept all four team event titles en route to the highest score by a Big 12 Champion since 2001.
Oklahoma gymnasts won a share of every individual event title as well, capped off by multiple conference titles from Hollie Vise (bars - 9.9, beam - 9.925 and floor - 9.9) and Jackie Flanery (vault - 9.9 and floor - 9.9). Flanery was joined atop the vault podium by teammates Brie Olson and Natalie Ratcliff as the OU trio all captured the first Big 12 event title of their careers.
The Sooners are averaging a 196.96 in true road events this season (excludes the Metroplex Challenge which took place at a neutral site in Dallas). Four of OU’s top six scores this season have come away from Norman.
TAKING DOWN THE TOP SQUADS
The Sooners have defeated four squads that competed in the Super Six at last year’s NCAA Championships, including 2009 NCAA runner-up Alabama. Florida and Arkansas finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Oklahoma picked up its fourth victory over a ‘09 Super Six opponent with its win over LSU at the University Park regional.
VAULTING TO THE TOP
The Sooners have vaulted well over the past six meets, posting at least a 49.300 on the apparatus in every appearance during that span. That should bode well for Oklahoma, as the Sooners open NCAA’s on that apparatus.
Ninety-eight of Oklahoma’s 312 routines this season have been performed by freshmen (.314). The group is 96-of-98 on the year. Each freshman that has competed has scored at least a 9.8 in one of their routines, while Natasha Kelley has already tallied 26 scores of at least 9.85.
SOONERS WELL REPRESENTED ON ALL-BIG 12 SQUAD
OU captured 12 of the 23 spots on the All-Big 12 Championship squad, which is given to the top four places and ties on each apparatus at the conference championship. In addition to OU’s Big 12 event champions Hollie Vise and Jackie Flanery, Kristin Smith earned the distinction on beam and floor, while Kayla Nowak (floor), Megan Ferguson (bars), Vise (floor) and Flanery (bars) rounded out the accolades.
Following the meet, Kindler was announced Big 12 Coach of the Year and was joined on the awards stand by Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Natasha Kelley. Kelley entered the meet with the highest RQS average of all conference newcomers on vault, bars and beam, despite competing on a 100% torn ACL suffered last November. Kelley was the first Oklahoma gymnast to garner the award in program history, while Kindler won her fifth Big 12 Coach of the Year award (second at Oklahoma).
Oklahoma is the only team to score above a 196.000 in every meet this season. The Sooners posted a season-low 196.100 at the Metroplex Challenge on Jan. 30, despite counting their first fall of the season.
FERGUSON LONE RETURNING ALL-AMERICAN
Oklahoma sophomore Megan Ferguson garnered All-America status on beam at the 2009 NCAA Championship and became the first freshman in Big 12 history to win multiple event titles at the conference championship. The Olathe, Kan., native finished event finals in a share of eighth.
BEATING THE BEST
OU is 5-0 against top-10 opponents this season, including four victories over SEC foes ranked in the top 10 at the time of the meeting. Fifteen of Oklahoma’s 22 victories this year have come against top-25 squads.
COMING FROM BEHIND
OU has trailed after a rotation in just three meets this season (@Big 12 Championship, @Missouri and
@Illinois). The Sooners trailed host Nebraska at the midway point of the conference championship last week marking the first time this season that Oklahoma has trailed after two rotations.
With its No. 1 ranking on Feb. 22, OU became the first Big 12 program to be ranked No. 1 in the country for multiple weeks during a single season. Oklahoma originally ascended to No. 1 nationally on Feb. 8, marking the first women’s sport at OU to be ranked No. 1 during the regular season.
Oklahoma has gone 49.425 or higher on every event this season, including a pair of 49.6-plus scores on floor. OU has also posted the highest score in the country this season with its 197.950-197.275 upset of No. 1 Alabama on March 5.
With its 197.475-196.100 win at No. 6 Arkansas (7-4-1) on March 19, OU posted the highest team score ever recorded inside Barnhill Arena, easily outdistancing the 197.025 by Arkansas earlier this season and the 196.725 by visiting Georgia in 2009. The Sooners also set arena records on bars (49.375) and beam (49.450).
TOPS IN THE CONFERENCE
Oklahoma holds the best season average of all four Big 12 squads on every apparatus, while the Sooners hold the top mark in the individual standings on every event but vault. The back-to-back Big 12 Champions are 25-2 against conference opponents under K.J. Kindler. The 2010 squad become the first Oklahoma group to clinch three straight conference titles since it reeled off back-to-back-to-back titles in 1984-1986.
Oklahoma joined Nebraska as the only squads in the Big 12 to win three straight conference titles. The Sooners and Huskers have combined to win nine of the last 10 Big 12 titles. 2006 marked the only time since 2000 that one of the two didn’t stand atop the conference podium, as Kindler’s Iowa State squad won the crown.
Sara Stone’s 10.00 on vault at Michigan State was the first perfect score by an Oklahoma gymnast since Kiara Redmond posted one on vault against TWU on Feb. 29, 2008. It was the third perfect routine in the NCAA this season and first by an underclassman. It was the 11th perfect score in program history and fifth on vault.
RACKING UP THE TITLES
The Sooners have collected 92 of a possible 104 combined individual and team event titles in 2010, including at least six combined individual and team event wins in each meet.
Just like last season’s second road meet of the season, the OU beam squad provided its breakout performance of the 2010 campaign in its second road outing at Illinois with a team tally of 49.500 on the apparatus. OU reeled off five straight 9.85s or better after a fall from the first position on beam at Illinois. Vise and Smith shared event honors with 9.95s, while Ferguson (9.9), Kelley (9.85) and Nowak (9.85) completed a sweep of the individual event standings on the apparatus.
Oklahoma’s beam tally was its second highest event total on the apparatus under Kindler, just behind OU’s 49.525 on beam at TWU on Jan. 17, 2009.
FOLLOWING THE SOONERS
The OU gymnastics program maintains its own Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts, which are updated frequently with all of the latest news about the squad. Links to each of those pages can be found at www.SoonerSports.com, the official site of the Oklahoma Sooners.
STELLAR YEAR IN THE CLASSROOM
Nine OU gymnasts earned 2009 NACGC All-Academic Scholar awards as the Sooners posted their highest GPA since 2004. Oklahoma’s nine honorees was third best among teams advancing to last year’s NCAA Championship, behind only Alabama (13) and Stanford (10).
Eight OU gymnasts were named to the 2010 Academic All-Big 12 Gymnastics Team, including six first-team members. It’s the second consecutive season the Sooners have had eight gymnasts qualify for the accolade. OU’s eight honorees were second only to Iowa State’s Big 12-leading 11 selections.
Garnering first-team accolades in 2009-10 were Megan Ferguson (journalism – broadcast and electronic media), Jackie Flanery (human relations), Mary Mantle (human relations), Natalie Ratcliff (early childhood education), Sara Stone (undecided) and Hollie Vise (human relations). Vise and Ratcliff are repeat recipients of the first-team honor after both garnered the accolade last season, while Flanery and Mantle earned second-team distinction in 2008.
Representing Oklahoma on the second team were Natasha Kelley (sociology) and Kristin Smith (human relations).