Dec. 14, 1999

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics team will begin the new millennium with the names of four new recruits added to its 2001 roster. Head Coach Becky Buwick announced the signing of Carla DeMartini, Sarah Leis, Stacey Mardock, and Kassie Tamayo today.

DeMartini, a Petaluma, Calif., native, will come to OU to compete for her freshman year of eligibility. She has been a level 10 gymnast for the past three years. Her accomplishments include becoming a 1999 regional qualifier, a 1998 national qualifier (placed 25th in the all-around) and a 1997 state bars champion.

Leis, a 2000 graduate of Suffield High School, has trained under coaches Maureen Chagnon and Blane Jefferson at New England Gymnastics Express in Newington, Conn. She was a member of the Senior Women's National Training Team and competed in the Junior Olympic Nationals in Atlanta, Ga. Leis was also a Junior Olympic regional champion in the floor exercise.

"Carla is a power pack in four events. She is an athlete that is filled with spirit and passion," said Buwick. "Sarah is another elite level gymnast. She is small in size but will make a huge impact on this team."

Mardock, a two-time level 10 Texas floor and all-around champion, trains at the South Texas Gymnastics Academy in San Antonio, Texas. She received the back-to-back state titles in 1998 and 1997. Mardock will become the second state title holder to sign with the squad after OU's Carley Smith joined the team this season. In 1998, she qualified for nationals in the all-around exercise and placed tenth on floor. Mardock has qualified for state, regional and national levels of competition since 1997.

"Stacey has untapped potential. She aspires to make the USA National Team, and we look forward to making her dream a reality," Buwick said.

After four years of level 10 gymnastics participation and two years of elite competitions, Tamayo is expected to specialize in four events: vault, bars, beam and floor. She has trained for the past seven years under the instruction of coaches Lisa Church and Tami Ross in Orangevale, Calif. Tamayo has competed at both the regional and national levels for the past two years.

"Kassie brings athletic artistry to the team," said Buwick. "She reminds me of former NCAA National Champion Kelly Garrison. She allows for extreme creativity in the composition of her routines. I am thrilled to have a chance to work with this athlete."