CORVALLIS, Ore. The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team’s season came to an end Thursday, April 20, when the team finished in sixth place at the NCAA National Championships preliminary qualifying round in Corvallis, Ore., at the Gill Coliseum.
The Sooners posted a 195.525 team score and recorded solid performances on beam (48.875), bars (48.925), vault (48.750) and floor (48.975).
Nebraska finished first with a 196.325, Alabama came in second (196.250), Utah finished third (196.175), Michigan fourth (196.000) and LSU fifth (195.525).
“We made some mistakes today that we normally don’t make,” said head coach Steve Nunno. “We had a good meet, but we were not on fire. In a meet like this you really need to come out and have a great performance.”
Junior Kiara Redmond had the best finish for Oklahoma in the all-around posting a 39.225 and finishing in seventh place. Junior Brittney Koncak-Schumann came in eighth with a 39.125 Koncak-Schumann and Redmond both earned All-America honors on the second team for their performances.
Sophomore Stephanie LoPiccolo was also named All-American on the first team and will be the lone Sooner competing in the individual finals on Saturday, April 22, starting at 7 p.m. in the Gill Coliseum. She becomes the first OU gymnast to earn first-team honors since Tiffany Willin, Erin LaBarr and Kasie Tamayo in 2004.
Oklahoma started the meet on vault recording a 48.750. Redmond led the Sooners with a 9.8, followed by junior Tiffany Willin (9.75) and freshman Haley DeProspero (9.75). Koncak-Schumann posted a 9.725 and Kristen Cox recorded a 9.7. It was the second lowest team score for Oklahoma on vault this season and just the second time the year the squad did not post a 49.000 or higher.
The vault has been the Sooners’ most consistent event this season. The team is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation on the apparatus and has compiled a 49.133 season average. OU’s highest vault score of the season came on March 3 versus Texas Woman’s University (49.475).
The Sooners had a bye in the next rotation before heading to bars in the third. On bars, Oklahoma recorded a 48.925 score and was led by LoPiccolo who stuck her landing and recorded a team-high 9.85 to earn a tie for fourth. Redmond and Caitlin Hinkis posted a 9.775 and 9.775, respectively, while DeProspero tallied a 9.725 and Koncak-Schumann posted a 9.8.
After two events, the Sooners had compiled 97.675 total points and resided in sixth place. Alabama was in first (98.275), LSU in second (98.100) and Nebraska was third (97.900).
In the next rotation, Oklahoma put together an impressive performance on beam with the first four gymnasts all scoring a 9.8 (Jackson, Redmond, Winn and Koncak-Schumann). Cox then added a 9.675 to give OU a 48.875 team total on the event.
The Sooners have seen success on the beam this year and are currently ranked No. 6 in the nation. OU posted a season team-high score of 49.350 against LSU on Feb. 24, and recorded a 49.000 or higher on five different occasions.
Heading into the final rotation, that Sooners had compiled 146.550 points and needed an exceptional performance on floor and falls by Utah, Nebraska and LSU in order to advance to the team finals.
On floor, Cox posted an early 9.8 to start the Sooners off, followed by Winn (9.825) and Redmond (9.85). DeProspero tallied a 9.65 and Koncak-Schumann concluded the meet for Oklahoma with a 9.85.
The Sooners posted a 48.975 on the event, but it wasn’t enough to push OU into the top three teams.
“I’m really proud of the team even though we didn’t make it to the team finals,” Nunno said. “We had a great season and we never gave up all season.”
The results of the second session, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., will determine OU’s final standing for the 2006 season.
The top three teams from each of the two sessions advance to the team finals, the “Super Six”, on Friday, April 21. The team finals will be aired by CBS on tape delay. The announcers will be Tim Brando and Amanda Borden and will air on Saturday, May 6, at Noon.