Jan. 11, 2001

NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics team begins the 2001 season Friday at 7 p.m. in a dual meet with Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. The Sooners and TWU will meet three times on the season for the third straight year. OU won all three meetings last year and holds a 33-3 advantage in the all-time series.

The 2001 season will mark the final year for Head Coach Becky Switzer after 18 seasons and the first year for women's gymnastics coaching legend Steven Nunno. Both are co-head coaches this season.

Oklahoma ended last season with a 12-9 record and a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Regional 1 in Corvallis, Ore. OU begins the 2001 campaign ranked 21st in the NACGC Coaches' Preseason Poll. The Sooners return five letterwinners, including sophomore Leticia Ishii. The Sao Paulo, Brazil native set the OU record in the all-around (39.000) and was ranked as high as eighth nationally in the AA last season.

The Pioneers finished last season with a 16-12 mark including 10-0 record in the postseason and captured the USAG Collegiate Championship.