April 26, 2008
ATHENS, Ga. -- Senior All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms scored a 9.7625 on floor to conclude her illustrious Oklahoma career in the individual event finals of the 2008 National Championships in Athens, Ga., on Saturday. The score resulted in a 12th-place finish for Redmond-Sturms in front of a sold-out crowd inside Stegeman Coliseum on the University of Georgia campus.
Redmond-Sturms is the first gymnast in school history to compete on floor exercise in the individual event finals in back-to-back years. Also representing the Sooners on floor in the 2007 NCAA Championships, the Los Angeles, Calif., native became the first OU gymnast since Kelly Garrison in 1988 to compete on the apparatus in the individual finals.
Along with her All-America status on floor (9.9), Redmond-Sturms came up just short of qualifying for Saturday's individual all-around competition, scoring a 39.400 to finish fifth on Thursday, just 0.025 of a point out of fourth place. However, the all-around total earned her second-team All-America distinction. The senior also earned second-team All-American status on vault (fifth-9.85) and beam (sixth-9.825).
"Although it wasn't quite the way I wanted to go out, I wouldn't trade my time at Oklahoma for anything else," said Redmond-Sturms. "My time in Norman helped me grow as a gymnast and more importantly a person, and I am forever grateful for that. I'm excited about the future of OU gymnastics."
Redmond-Sturms ends her career as one of the most decorated gymnasts in OU gymnastics history. Her nine All-America honors is the highest tally of any Sooner gymnast in program history, besting Kelly Garrison's seven honors during the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
To qualify for Saturday night's event finals, gymnasts had to finish in the top four (plus ties) on the apparatus in their session in Thursday's preliminary rounds.
Top honors on vault went to Susan Jackson of LSU with a two-vault average of 9.8563. Winner of the all-around title in Thursday's preliminary competition, UCLA's Tasha Schwikert won the uneven bars title with a score of 9.9375. A day after helping lead Georgia to its fourth-straight NCAA title, Grace Taylor earned the beam title with a 9.95 mark, while teammate Courtney McCool was the victor on the floor exercise (9.9625).
The team portion of the 2008 NCAA Gymnastics Championships will air tape-delayed on CBS at 2 p.m. (CDT) on May 10.
Redmond-Sturms capped off a historic season for Oklahoma as the team made its mark atop the record book for wins (28), consecutive victories (21), wins to start a season (21), regular season winning percentage (1.000), home winning percentage (.917) and regular-season road winning percentage (1.000). The Sooners eighth-place tie in the team portion on Thursday also shared top program honors with last season's squad.
While Redmond-Sturms has concluded her eligibility along with seniors Caitlin Hinkis and Stephanie LoPiccolo, the future is bright as the 28-8-1 Sooners return 18 of 24 routines performed in Athens, Ga., for the 2009 season.