Norman, Okla. -- The No. 10 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team travels to Cancun, Mexico, on Jan. 6 to compete in the first meet of the year. The third annual Cancun Classic will feature five teams, all of whom are ranked in the preseason top 25. Defending national champion and No. 1 Georgia will be featured in the classic along with No. 9 Stanford, No. 17 Arizona and No. 21 Denver. The meet will take place at the Moon Palace Resort and will begin at 7 p.m.
The Cancun Classic will give OU the opportunity to see how they match up against some of the best talent in the nation. With the loss of Big 12 Gymnast of the Year Erin LaBarr to graduation, it will also allow Oklahoma to see who will step up and take the leadership role.
Head coach Steve Nuuno is excited about opening up the season in Cancun and looks forward to answering many questions about his team.
“This first meet needs to be about us. We need to see what we look like as a team and get an idea of how we will compete. There are a lot of questions that will be answered in this first meet. That’s the excitement of the Cancun Classic,” Nunno said.
The Sooners won the 2005 Cancun Classic posting a team score of 195.9 to defeat Brigham Young (194.325), George Washington (191.625) and Gustavus Adolphus (175.800). It was a significant improvement from the 2004 competition, where the Sooners finished third.
2006 Sooner Schedule:
Cancun Classic Notes
Oklahoma holds two team records at the Cancun Classic. The Sooners hold team highs in both the vault (48.850) and Floor (49.375). Both records were earned in last year’s meet.
Two Sooners hold individual records at the Cancun Classic. Ashley Cooney scored a 9.90 on vault last season and Erin LaBarr earned records on Bars (10.0), Beam (9.90) and Floor (9.925).
The Sooners won the second annual Cancun Gymnastics Classic with a 195.9. As a team, the Sooners rattled off scores of 48.85 on the vault, 49.25 on the uneven bars, 48.425 on the balance beam and a 49.375 on the floor exercise. Besides the balance beam, where they had to count a fall, the Sooners topped the competition in each team event. The Sooners also dominated the individual competition in Cancun placing first in all four events.
Erin LaBarr’s 10.0 at the 2005 Cancun Classic was the first perfect score for a Sooner since the 2003 season (Allison Landis-uneven bars). It is just the seventh 10.0 in Sooners’ history and the second on the uneven bars. It was also the first perfect score ever recorded at the Cancun Classic.
The Sooners were ranked No. 10 in the GymInfo Coaches’ preseason poll released on Dec. 2. This marks the highest preseason ranking in the program’s history. Last year OU was voted No. 11 in the preseason and finished No. 12 in the final polls.
Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 Conference will be very challenging in 2006 with all four teams finishing in the top 15 last season. The Sooners will look to improve on their 1-2 conference record from last year.
“The Big 12 is the strongest it has ever been. Nebraska is traditionally the best team and Iowa State and Missouri always have talented teams. Our conference is as tough as any in the country and I’m looking forward to a challenging conference schedule,” Nunno said.
Nebraska claimed its seventh overall Big 12 women’s gymnastics title by winning the crown in 2005. The fourth-ranked Huskers regained their crown after OU took home its first title in 2004. ISU won the championship in 2000.
Oklahoma will host both Nebraska (Feb. 4) and Iowa State (Feb. 10) in Big 12 Conference play. On Feb. 17 the Sooners travel to Columbia, Mo., to face Missouri and conclude conference competition.
The Big 12 Conference Championship will be hosted by Nebraska on March 15, in Lincoln, Neb.
Sooners Voted No. 10
The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team was voted No. 10 in the GymInfo Coaches’ preseason top-25 poll. It marks the highest preseason ranking in the program’s history and one spot better than last year’s No. 11 ranking.
“I am very proud of the student athletes of the past five years who have laid the foundation for this year’s team,” said head coach Steve Nunno. “I am also humbled by the votes of the other coaches around the country who believe the University of Oklahoma is now a top-ten program and among the great teams in NCAA women’s gymnastics. I have every confidence that this year’s squad will be our best ever.”
Georgia was voted No. 1 receiving 15 first place votes followed by Utah (five first place votes), UCLA (three first place votes) and Alabama (two first place vote).
All four teams from the Big 12 made the list, Nebraska was voted No. 8, Iowa State No. 11 and Missouri came in at No. 16. All three teams improved from last year’s rankings.
Week 1: Dec. 2, 2005
11. Iowa State
12. Penn State
13. Oregon State
14. Arizona State
19. Brigham Young Univ
22. North Carolina
25. New Hampshire
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 Hollievise.com.
Oklahoma native Shannon Miller was the last gymnast Nunno has coached with World Champion honors. He helped lead Miller to two world championship titles, nine world championship medals and seven Olympic medals, including a pair of golds at the 1996 Olympic Games.
The 2005 World Gymnastics Championships will be held on Nov. 24-27 in Melbourne, Australia. Vise will not be competing in the event.
The No. 10 ranked Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team concluded another successful intrasquad meet at the Sam Viersen Gymnastics Center. The annual scrimmage was held to see who would be competing in this year’s Cancun Gymnastics Classic on Jan. 6 in Cancun, Mexico.
“I felt the team performed very well and did exactly what I thought they would do,” said head coach Steve Nunno. “We have a lot more depth than in the past and I think every event was solid tonight.”
The meet started on vault where team captains Kristen Cox and Tiffany Willin led the Sooners posting 9.9 scores. The team then moved to uneven bars with the top score going again to Willin at 9.85. OU finished the night on beam and floor posting excellent scores and will have solid depth on both events.
Nunno’s 2006 team will feature nine letterwinners from last year’s team that made the program’s fifth appearance at the NCAA Championships. Four newcomers also highlight the 2006 squad including freshman sensation Haley DeProspero and UCLA transfer Lori Winn. Both gymnasts will add excellent depth to the roster and will look to have an immediate impact for the Sooners.
DeProspero and Winn had impressive scores on beam posting a 9.9. Winn finished the night with a near perfect routine on floor tallying a 9.9 score.
“I think our team is ready to compete in our first meet,” said Nunno. “We are ready to entertain our fans and show some new skills we have never done before.”
2006 Team Captains
Women’s gymnastics head coach Steve Nunno announced his team captains for the 2006 season. Kristen Cox and Tiffany Willin will take the leadership role and perform as captains for the team.
Steve Nunno on Cox and Willin:
“I think it will be a fun year with them as captains.” “They will provide great leadership and motivation for the team.”
“Kristen is my first recruit I have coached for all four years. She is a very popular person with team members. It is only right that she finishes out her collegiate career as a team captain. She brings commitment to the team and has a great personality to lead us this upcoming year.”
“Tiffany is one of two First Team All-Americans we have had in the past 15 years. It is only fitting that she is a team captain. She brings great accolades to the team and has a dynamic work ethic.”