Feb. 25, 2000

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics team, ranked No. 10 nationally, will travel to Columbia, Mo., this Saturday to meet the Missouri Tigers for the first time this season. Competition is set to begin at 7 p.m. at the Hearnes Center. Oklahoma enters the contest with a season record of 10-1, while MU, 6-6 on the year, looks for its first Big 12 win since 1996.

Oklahoma leads the OU/MU series record, 14-7, and defeated the Tigers 193.325-192.150 last season in Norman, Okla. The Sooners also edged out Missouri for third place at last year's conference championships by a score 196.675 to 194.550. Oklahoma will be led by senior Amber , an Olathe, Kan. native who currently ranks third in the nation on the vault (avg. of 9.896) and 18th in the all-around with an average score of 39.142. In the Sooners' first meeting with Missouri last season, McCracken placed first in the all-around with a score 39.200 and also garnered top-three finishes in the remaining events. Also starring for OU will be redshirt-freshman Leticia Ishii, who ranks 15th in the nation in the all-around (avg. 39.189). Ishii's top performance of the season came against Air Force last Friday, when her score of 39.65 set a new school record in the all-around. McCracken, Big 12 Gymnast of the Week, also made school history by posting the school's first 10.0 on the vault.

MU senior Shannon Brown, tied 50th in the nation on the floor exercise, will be the Tigers highest-ranked performer entering the meet. The last time the Tigers defeated the Sooners in the Hearnes Center was in 1996, when MU prevailed 192.200-191.100. Four of six Missouri losses this season were against teams ranked in the nation's top 25. Missouri picked up its last win this past Sunday against Southwest Missouri State (193.525-191.225). The Tigers swept four of five events to capture the first-place finishes. Four Missouri gymnasts posted career bests on the uneven bars, propelling MU to a school bars record with a score 49.175. Brown and teammate Chandra Harlow tied for first on the event with a 9.875.