Sooners Set for Big 12 Championship

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 22, 2006

NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 6 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team will head to Lincoln, Neb., on March 25, for the 2006 Big 12 Championship hosted by the University of Nebraska.  The meet is slated to start at 7 p.m. CST in the Bob Devaney Sports Center. 

The championship will be aired by Fox Sports Network on tape delay throughout the week following the meet.  FSN Southwest will air the event on Thursday, March 30, at 12:00 p.m..

OU rolls into Lincoln holding a 9-6 overall record and a 1-2 mark in Big 12 meets.  The Sooners have won five consecutive meets since Feb. 17 with wins over Missouri, LSU, Texas Woman’s University, Centenary and Kent State.

Under head coach Steve Nunno, the No. 6 national ranking is the highest mark for a Sooner team heading into postseason action.  The Sooners have been ranked in the top 10 for nine consecutive weeks with their best ranking (No. 5) coming on March 20.

Meet Notes | OU Women's Gymnastics | Live Stats

“We are really excited about our chances heading into the championship,” said head coach Steve Nunno.  “We start on bars and we hope to get out to a good start.  Everyone in the Big 12 is strong this season.  The meet should be very exciting.”

The Sooners enter the meet coming off a 196.575-193.900 victory over Kent State in Kent, Ohio.  Brittney Koncak-Schumann led OU with three individual event victories on vault (9.95), bars (9.85) and floor (9.925).  She also posted a career-high 39.600 and was crowned all-around champion.

The Big 12 Championship will bring stiff competition for the Sooners with No. 4 Iowa State, No. 11 Nebraska and No. 13 Missouri all competing.  OU went 1-2 in regular season dual meets in conference action with its lone win coming against Missouri (196.100-196.000) on Feb. 17.

Oklahoma is ranked in the top 15 natonally in all four events and showcases arguably the best vault team in the nation.  The Sooners are ranked No. 2 on vault, No. 14 on bars, No. 6 on beam and No. 7 on floor.  Koncak-Schumann is the Sooners’ top all-around competitor ranked at No. 6.  She is also ranked No. 10 on beam, tied for 13th on floor and tied for 21st on bars and No. 6 on vault.  

The Sooners will be looking for their second Big 12 Championship victory in program history.  In 2004, OU won the championship with a score of 196.950 at the Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa.  During the Becky Switzer era, Oklahoma won five Big 8 Championships (1984, 1985, 1986, 1991,1993).

Both freshman Haley DeProspero and Koncak-Schumann have played vital roles in the success of the team this season.  Both gymnasts have competed in the all-around for the Sooners in every meet this seasson.  Koncak-Schumann has hit 37 out of 40 routines for an impressive 92.5 percent. 

“Brittney (Koncak-Schumann) and Haley (DeProspero) are really starting to come into their own,” Nunno said.  “They are peaking at the right time and will be ready to compete.  But in order for us to win we will need everyone to step up and perform well.  Everybody is really excited about the challenge and we are all confident in getting the job done.” 

Kent State Leftovers
The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team swept all four individual and team events en route to a 196.575-193.900 victory over Kent State in Kent, Ohio.  Brittney Koncak-Schumann was crowned all-around champion with a career-high 39.600.  Koncak-Schumann also finished first on vault (9.95), bars (9.85) and floor (9.925).  Haley DeProspero finished second in the all-around with a career-high 39.425 and tied Kristen Cox and Koncak-Schumann for first place on beam with a 9.875.  The score set a career high for both DeProspero and Cox.  The win was the Sooners’ fifth in a row and moved their record to 9-6 this season.

Koncak-Schumann Leads Sooners
Junior Brittney Koncak-Schumann from McQueeney, Texas, is having arguably her best season of her career.  Last week versus Kent State, she recorded a career-high 39.600 in the all-around to earn first-place honors.  She tied a career high on vault (9.95), posted a 9.85 on bars and hit a 9.925 which was her second highest score on floor this season.  Her 39.600 was the second-highest score in the Big 12 this season.  She was also named Big 12 Gymnast of the Week for her performance against the Flashes.  

Koncak-Schumann is currently ranked No. 6 nationally in the all-around, No. 10 on balance beam, tied for 13th on floor, tied for 21st on bars and No. 6 on the vault.  She is the only Big 12 Gymnast of the Week winner to be ranked in the top 25 in every event.  She has recorded an impressive 92.5 success rate this season hitting 37-of-40 possible routines.  She recorded a team season-high 9.975 on floor versus Centenary which tied for the second highest score on floor in program history.  It was also the highest score recorded by a Sooner since Erin LaBarr posted a perfect 10.0 on bars during the 2005 Cancun Gymnastics Classic.

Freshman Sensation
Haley DeProspero has been impressive in her first year as a Sooner gymnast.  The true freshman from McKinney, Texas, has competed in the all-around in every meet this season averaging a 38.990.  She has also won five individual events (floor - 2, beam - 1, vault - 1 and bars - 1).  DeProspero is ranked No. 19 in the all-around competition, tied for 18th on vault and tied for 29th on beam.  She recorded a season-high 39.425 in the all-around in Oklahoma’s win over Kent State.  The score is the fifth highest in the Big 12 this season and second highest for a Sooner.           
Sooners Vault Into Action
Oklahoma has proven this season that it has arguably the best vault team in the country.  The Sooners are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation just behind Georiga and have won the team event six times this season.  Brittney Koncak-Schumann is ranked No. 6 individually, Haley DeProspero is tied for 18th and Kiara Redmond is No. 20.  Oklahoma has also won five individual titles on the event this season.  The Sooners are also ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference and South Central Region on the apparatus.   

Four Sooners On Academic All-Big 12 Team
The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team placed four members on the 2006 Academic All-Big 12 Gymnastics Team released on Tuesday.

Kristen Cox, Tara Anderson and Brittney Koncak-Schumann were all named to the first team.  Anderson and Koncak-Schumann were both nominated with a 4.00 grade point average.  Junior Tiffany Willin of Fort Myers, Fla., was named to the second team.

Nominated by each institution’s director of student-athlete support services and the media relations offices, the academic all-league gymnastics squad consisted of 14 first team members combined with four on the second team.  First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

2005 Big 12 Championship Recap
The University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team finished third at the 2005 Big 12 Championship at the Lloyd Noble Center. 

Nebraska won the conference title, scoring 196.650 points. Iowa State finished second for the second consecutive season at 196.000, Oklahoma scored 195.500 and Missouri finished fourth at 194.875.

Nebraska also grabbed the beam and floor titles, scoring 48.9 and 49.35, respectively.  Iowa State took the team vault title with 49.35 points and Oklahoma won on bars with 49.2 points.

OU led the competition through two rotations by 0.1 points, but falls on beam put the Sooners out of competition for the win.

Erin LaBarr led the Sooners with 39.3 total points and finished the all-around in fourth place. 

Aside from the beam scores, Oklahoma had one of its most spectacular meets of the 2005 season. The Sooners lowest counted score on vault, bars and floor was just a 9.75.

LaBarr was named Big 12 Gymnast of the Year by the conference’s coaches following the championship event.  It marked the second straight year that a Sooner gymnast collected the honor.  Kasie Tamayo (2001-2004) won the award in 2004. 

Nebraska’s Emily Parsons was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and Iowa State head coach K.J. Kindler earned coach of the year honors.  Parsons was a two-time Big 12 Gymnast of the Week honoree the only freshman to earn that honor in 2005.

Scouting the Big 12
The Huskers enter the Big 12 Championship with a 14-5-1 overall record and are coming off a 196.475-195.900 defeat against Arkansas on March 19. Nebraska holds a 55-16 series record over the Sooners and won the Big 12 Championship in 2005.  Oklahoma and Nebraska met earlier this season in a dual meet held in Norman on Feb. 4.  The Huskers defeated the Sooners 196.850-196.000.    

Nebraska was the only Big 12 squad represented in the Super Six Finals last season, finishing sixth nationally with a score of 196.425.  Sophomore standout Emily Parsons leads the Huskers this year after coming off an impressive freshman campaign. 

Parsons was a four-time All American as a freshman in 2005, earning first-team honors on floor exercise while also being named a second-team honoree on vault, beam and the all-around. She is currently ranked No. 12 in the nation in the all-around with a 39.232 season average, No. 8 on floor, No. 6 on beam and No. 3 on vault.  Head Coach Dan Kendig enters his 13th year as head coach for the Huskers.  He is a two-time NCAA Coach of the Year recepient and has made 10 NCAA Championship Appearances.  He holds a 285-104-3 (.723) career record at Nebraska and has won the Big 12 Championship seven times.

Iowa State
No. 4 Iowa State is coming off a 197.250-194.225 victory over Iowa on March 17 and carries a 13-3 overall record.  The  score set a season high and tied for the sixth best in program history.  The last time OU and Iowa State met was a dual meet on Feb. 10 in Norman.  The Cyclones defeated the Sooners 196.275-196.050.  The Sooners hold a 35-12 all-time record versus Iowa State, but the Cyclones hold a 11-9 advantage in the last 20 meetings.  

Iowa State is coached by K.J. Kindler who holds a 63-37-1 career record during her five-year tenure at Iowa State.  Kindler was named Big 12 Coach of the year in 2005 the second consecutive year.  The Cyclones finished second in the 2005 Big 12 Championship and eighth at the 2005 NCAA Championship. 

Iowa State is ranked No. 6 on vault with a 49.215 RQS, tied for 2nd on floor (49.270), No. 2 on beam (49.145) and No. 8 on bars (49.045).  The Cyclones are led by four-time All-American Janet Anson who is ranked No. 4 in the all-around with a 39.298 season average, tied for 3rd on floor and No. 2 on vault. 

Head Coach Rob Drass enters his six season as head coach and carries a 61-51 career record.  The Tigers hold a 13-8 overall record in 2006 and last faced the Sooners on Feb. 17 in Columbia.  OU defeated the Tigers 196.100-196.000 and won two team event titles (floor and beam).  Oklahoma has defeated Missouri in the last three meetings. The Tigers placed fourth at the 2005 Big 12 Championships with a score of 194.875.

The 2006 team is led by seniors Jodie Heinicka, Lauren Schwartzman and Sarah Ziger.  Freshmen Alicia Hatcher and Adrianne Perry also highlight a very talented squad.  Missouri achieved its highest national ranking in program history this year, occupying the No. 7 spot in the Jan. 30 poll.  Schwartzman is tied for first nationally on beam with Georgia freshman Courtney Kupets. Schwartzman also finished second on floor (9.90) and fourth on beam (9.825) at the 2005 NCAA South Central Regional in Lincoln.  Missouri is ranked No. 5 on balance beam and No. 19 on vault.

Koncak-Schumann Earns Big 12 Honor, Again
Brittney Koncak-Schumann has been named the season’s final Big 12 Gymnast of the Week after scoring a career-high 39.600 in the all-around in Oklahoma’s win over Kent State.   The junior from McQueeney, Texas, was honored for the third time this season and the fourth time in her career.

Koncak-Schumann captured every event title, including the all-around against Kent State. She tied her career-high with a 9.95 on vault, posted a 9.85 on bars, a 9.925 on floor and a 9.875 on beam.

Her all-around score is the second-highest recorded in the Big 12 this season. Koncak-Schumann is the only Big 12 Gymnast of the Week winner to be ranked in the top 25 in every event.

Koncak-Schumann has competed in the all-around in every meet this season posting a 39.206 average and has hit 37 out of 40 routines for an impressive 92.5 percent.  She is currently the No. 6 all-arounder in the nation, No. 10 on beam, No. 6 on vault, tied for 13th on floor and tied for 21st on bars. 
She earned the award earlier in the season (Jan. 24) after a stellar performance against Southern Utah.  Against the Thunderbirds, she won vault (9.95) and balance beam (9.875) while placing second on floor exercise (9.85) and tying for fourth on bars (9.70) in helping lead the Sooners to a 195.925-190.050 victory over Southern Utah. 

Following the team’s victory over LSU (Feb. 24), she earned the honor again after recording a 39.500 in the all-around and posted a 9.9 on three events.

Nunno Signs World Champion
The University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team was proud to announce the signing of World Champion Hollie Vise to a National Letter of Intent. 
Vise is arguably the best recruit head coach Steve Nuuno has signed in his five-year tenure at Oklahoma. She is the current World Champion on uneven bars and has been an International Elite gymnast since the age of 11.

“It’s a great day for Oklahoma women’s gymnastics,” said coach Nunno. “Hollie will bring world championship experience to our team next year. We have never had an athlete come in that has had a World Champion title.”

Along with earning World Champion honors, Vise was also the National Champion on balance beam and silver medalist in the all-around in 2003. In 2002, she was the National Champion in both the uneven bars and balance beam and a silver medalist in the all-around. In 2001, she earned a silver medal in the all-around and was National Champion on uneven bars.

“Hollie will bring OU gymnastics to a whole new level and a push for a national title in the future,” said coach Nunno. “She not only brings great accolades as a gymnast, but she will also excel in the classroom. We expect her to be a tremendous student-athlete.” 

Vise is a member of the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy and was on the first-place 2003 World Champion team. She is the daughter of Eddie and LeeAnn Vise and has three brothers: Brandon (22), Brad (17) and Weston (15). She started gymnastics when she was three and enjoys shopping, watching movies and riding her bike. 
Hollie’s grandfather, Burton Gilliam, is an actor and has appeared in many movies and tv shows: Paper Moon, Blazing Saddles, Back to the Future, Charlie’s Angels, Alice Evening Show and is the Pace Picante man.  For more information on Vise you can visit her personal Web Site at

Sooners Excel in the Classroom
The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team received an overall GPA of 3.42 during the fall term, marking the second highest single-term GPA under head coach Steve Nunno.  The GPA puts the squad No. 1 on campus among women’s sports for the fall term and second among all sports.  Four Sooner gymnasts finished the fall with a 4.0 GPA.   

“I am extremely proud of our team,” said head coach Steve Nunno.  “Not only do we have one of the most talented teams in program history but they are one of the best academically.  I am proud of the hard work they put in the classroom.” 

Academics have always been a high priority for the Sooners who strive to work hard both in the gym and in the classroom.  Last season, Oklahoma finished 12th at the NCAA National Championships and had six gymnasts finish with a 4.0 GPA in the spring semester. 



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