Sooners Eye NCAA Regional Title

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
APRIL 01, 2009

April 1, 2009

 No. 9 Oklahoma (13-4) at NCAA Northeast Regional
 Date & Time  Saturday, April 4 at 6 p.m. CST
 Location  Tuscaloosa, Ala. | Coleman Coliseum
 Tickets  Alabama Ticket Office | (205) 348-2262
 Meet Central

 Alabama Women's Gymnastics Central 

 Live Scoring  NCAA Northeast Regional
 Directions  Visitors Guide
 Official Website  Oklahoma
 Meet Notes  Meet Notes (PDF) Sooners


NORMAN, Okla. -
Fresh off of its eighth conference title, the No. 9 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics squad travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., in search of the program’s first regional title since 2006 at the six-team NCAA Northeast Regional Championship on Saturday.  The Sooners must finish in the top two in order to advance to the NCAA Championships, held April 16-18, in Lincoln, Neb.

The event is hosted by top seed Alabama, who is coming off of its sixth SEC Championships title on March 21.  No. 15 Missouri is the third seed after placing third behind Oklahoma and Nebraska at last week’s conference championship.  No. 32 Central Michigan, No. 35 New Hampshire and No. 35 Maryland round out the six-team Northeast regional field.

Central Michigan finished second at the 2009 MAC Championships, while New Hampshire and Maryland finished fifth and sixth, respectively, at the EAGL Championships.

 Sooner to Watch 

Megan Ferguson | Fr. | UB-BB-FX 
The Olathe, Kan., native became the first freshman in Big 12 history to win multiple event titles at the conference championship.

A winner on bars and beam, Ferguson is only the second Sooner gymnast to claim a Big 12 crown in her freshman campaign, joining Ashley Cooney who won the vault title in 2004.   The OU pair account for three of the seven event wins by a Big 12 freshman at the conference championships.     


• MEET INFO                           
Complete coverage of the meet will be available at  Following the meet, a recap, photos, video highlights and official scores will be posted to, the official home of OU women's gymnastics.

The Sooners have placed in the top two in each of the last five regionals, resulting in five straight trips to the NCAA Championships.  Oklahoma is one of only seven teams in the country to advance to the NCAA Championships every year since 2004, joining Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan and Utah.

OU defeated Missouri in both meetings this season, while dropping a 196.725-196.525 decision at Alabama on March 13.  OU has not faced the other three Northeast regional teams this season.

• HOME AWAY FROM HOME                                                                                                                   
Alabama’s Coleman Coliseum will be a familiar venue for the Sooners as OU is making its fourth appearance at the arena in the past three seasons.

Saturday’s meeting is the seventh between Oklahoma and Alabama in the past three seasons. The Crimson Tide and Sooners finished one-two in the South Central Regional Championships in Norman a year ago, setting up a repeat matchup in the first session of the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., where `Bama prevailed with a 196.65 team tally to advance to the Super Six team finals.  

The squads met on three occasions in 2007, with the Sooners dropping their season opener in Tuscaloosa, before the two teams met again at both postseason events.  OU finished second to the Crimson Tide at the NCAA Central Regional in Tuscaloosa, but defeated Alabama in the first session of the NCAA Championships (196.250-196.125).

Below is a look at how the Sooners have fared at the NCAA Regional Championships during their streak of five straight top-two finishes at the event:

2008 - 2nd (195.875) | South Central Regional | Norman, Okla.
2007 - 2nd (195.925) | Central Regional | Tuscaloosa, Ala.
2006 - 1st (196.375) | Central Regional | Baton Rouge, La.
2005 - 2nd (195.550) | Northeast Regional | Durham, N.H.
2004 - 1st (197.100) | West Regional | Corvalis, Ore.

• JUST SHY OF THE SUPER SIX                                                                                                                   
OU has posted program-best eighth place finishes at the last two NCAA Championships, standing fourth in each of the preliminary sessions, just one spot away from a berth in the Super Six team finals.

Oklahoma’s eight NCAA Championships appearances without a berth in the Super Six is tied with BYU for the
second-most spots in the final event without advancing past preliminary competition.  Arizona has made 10 NCAA
Championships appearances without advancing. 

Oklahoma is the only squad in the top 10 to have both of its top two season scores come in road competition. 

• ROTATION SCHEDULE                                                                                              
Rotation            Vault                             Bars                              Beam                            Floor
1                New Hampshire               OKLAHOMA                     Maryland                       Missouri
2                   Missouri                    Central Michigan              OKLAHOMA                     Alabama
3                  Alabama                     New Hampshire             Central Michigan                Maryland
4                  Maryland                        Missouri                     New Hampshire              OKLAHOMA
5                 OKLAHOMA                     Alabama                       Missouri                 Central Michigan
6               Central Michigan               Maryland                        Alabama                 New Hampshire

• DOMINATING THE BIG 12                                                                                                                         
The Sooners have reeled off a 16-2 record versus Big 12 opponents since the start of the 2007 schedule, including a 8-1 mark during regular season action. 

• NOT ACTING LIKE NEWCOMERS                                                                                                            
Of the 80 routines that have been competed by gymnasts making their first collegiate appearance on the respective apparatus in 2009, a remarkable 47 (.588) have gone for a 9.8 or better.  Megan Ferguson had two of the group’s three routines of 9.8 or greater at the Big 12 Championships after the group hit seven of eight at that mark in OU’s second-place finish in its regular season finale at Alabama.

Ferguson has tallied 19 routines at 9.8 or higher, while fellow frosh Sara Stone leads the respective group with an average of .706 at 9.8 or higher ( 12-of-17).    

• ON TOP OF THEIR GAME                                                                                                                                  The Sooners have three gymnasts that have posted at least 12 routines of 9.85 or higher in 2009, led by Ashley Jackson’s 15.  Freshman Megan Ferguson has burst onto the collegiate scene with 14 at a 9.85 or better clip, while Hollie Vise has posted 12 routines at 9.85 or better, despite only specializing on bars and beam.  Ferguson pushed her tally to 14 with a pair of 9.85s in a share of the title on bars and beam at the Big 12 Championships, while Jackson matched Ferguson’s bars score for her first conference title. 

Haley DeProspero is not far behind with nine scores of 9.85 or better, including a share of the beam title at the 2009 Big 12 Championships (9.85), successfully defending her 2008 crown on the apparatus.

• ROAD SWEET ROAD                                                                                                                            
Posting a then-NCAA-best 197.175 in Denton, Texas, on Jan. 17, and a 196.800 at Iowa State on Feb. 27, the road has been kind to the Sooners again this season.  Four of OU’s top six scores have been away from Norman in 2009, a year after five of Oklahoma’s top seven scores (including three of the top four and a season-best-tying 196.750 at Arkansas) come on the road. 

• FLOOR SENSATION                                                                                                                                   
Kristin Smith posted her latest 9.9 on floor at the Big 12 Championships, marking the fourth time this season (third consecutive) that the Oklahoma City, Okla., junior has tied her career high on the apparatus.  Entering the year with a personal best of 9.85 on the event, Smith has won three event crowns on the apparatus this season (@ Denver, @ ISU, TWU/ISU). 

• BANNER YEAR FOR VISE                                                                                    
Bars and beam specialist Hollie Vise snagged her ninth individual event crown with a 9.925 against TWU and Illinois State.   The victory comes a week after Vise won her seventh and eighth event titles of the season at ISU with a 9.825 on bars (shared event honors with teammate Melanie Root and ISU’s Ceilia Maccani) and a career-high 9.95 on beam.  The Dallas, Texas., native’s nine victories in 2009 overtook her total from all of last season, when she claimed seven titles on the year (four on bars, three on beam). 


OU’s Megan Ferguson and Sara Stone have either led the Sooners outright or tied for the team event high on 10 occasions this season.  Ferguson paced the Sooners on bars against Florida (9.85), tied for the beam crown against TWU (9.925), shared top beam honors for the Sooners against Minnesota (9.875), led the Sooners on bars (9.85) in the quad meet and at Alabama (9.9) and earned a share of a pair of titles at the Big 12 Championships. Stone’s 9.85 on vault at Denver shared the event title.  Stone also posted a team-high 9.875 against Arkansas, a week after sharing vault honors with Ashley Jackson at TWU. 

The duo’s career highs on vault (Stone - 9.9), bars (Ferguson - 9.9) and beam (Ferguson - 9.925) lead all other Big 12 freshmen.

• A HILTON COLISIEUM REPEAT                                 
Haley DeProspero defended her 2008 conference crown on beam with a 9.85 at the Big 12 Championships in Ames, Iowa, after sticking a season-high 9.875 on vault in winning event honors at Iowa State on Feb. 27.  The score was her highest vault tally since posting a 9.925 as a freshman.  DeProspero also posted 9.85s on beam and floor en route to her first all-around title of the season (39.300).

Roster | Schedule | Notes | 2009 Media Guide

• TOPS IN THE CONFERENCE                                                      
Oklahoma has posted the top score in the Big 12 (197.175), as well as the highest conference tallies on vault (49.400) and beam (49.525). 

• SHARING THE WEALTH                                                               
Oklahoma has six gymnasts with at least four individual event titles in 2009, as Ashley Jackson leads the way with 10.  The Sooners are the only squad ranked in the latest top-15 GymInfo poll without a gymnast in the top-25 all-around rankings. 

• VAULTING TO THE TOP                                                                       
Natalie Ratcliff (9.85) and Melanie Root (9.9) both scored personal bests on vault against Alabama, leading the Sooners to a team tally of 49.275 on the apparatus. 

After opening the year with a season-low 48.925 on the apparatus at Florida, OU has reached the 49-point plateau in every other meet this season.

• BUST OUT THE BROOMS                                                                           
The Sooners swept all four event titles and a share of every individual event honor on March 6 for the second consecutive meet and third time this season (@ TWU, @Iowa State).  The Sooners swept all four team event titles seven times a year ago.

Needing to post a solid score to hold off a charging Missouri squad that was hitting its vaults, OU’s Kristin Smith, Jackie Flanery and Ashley Jackson posted back-to-back-to-back event-winning routines of 9.875 on floor as the Sooners closed with a 49.300 on the apparatus for the quad meet victory.  It marked the third time this season that three Sooners had clinched a share of an individual event title  (beam - TWU, floor - Minnesota). 

• RACKING UP THE VAULT TITLES                                       
Sometimes overshadowed by fellow freshman Megan Ferguson’s strong start to the year, Sara Stone won a share of her third vault title of the season at Denver with a 9.85.  The Dallas, Texas, native stands third in the Big 12 on the apparatus with a RQS of 9.86.Sooners swept all four event titles and a share of every individual event honor for the second consecutive meet and third time this season (@ TWU, @Iowa State).  The Sooners swept all four team event titles seven times a year ago.



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