No. 6 OU Visits Denver Saturday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 08, 2008

 No. 6 OU at No. 13 Denver 
 Date  Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. CT
 Location  Denver, Colo. | Hamilton Gymnasium
 Online  Live Scoring

NORMAN, Okla. - The Sooners hit the road for the fifth time in six meets as they travel to Denver, Colo, on Feb. 9, to face No. 13 DU, Air Force and Utah State. The quad meet is slated for a 7 p.m. (CST) start inside Hamilton Gymnasium.

OU enters the meet with a 9-0 record, including a 195.275-194.950 victory over Nebraska in last Friday's home opener.

Denver enters Saturday's meet ranked 13th in the latest GymInfo poll after reeling off six-straight wins.  The Pioneer's only loss on the year came in the first session of the season-opening Cancun Classic when they fell to LSU 195.725-193.200.

DU is led by Jessica Lopez who ranks 19th in the NCAA in the all-around with a season average of 39.231.  The junior became Denver's first-ever three-time All-American in 2007, recording scores of 9.9 on beam, 9.9 on uneven bars and 9.85 on floor exercise.

 Media Guide | Meet NotesLive Scoring

Utah State (1-4) takes a 46th-place ranking into Saturday's quad meet after losing at Southern Utah, 196.000-192.250 on Monday.  USU holds a 191.065 season average, ranking sixth in the WAC.

The Aggies are led by Junior Nicki Felley who has USU's highest average in the all-around (38.125).

The No. 59 Falcons stand 1-5 on the year after picking up their first win of the season last Saturday with a 188.100-180.950 win over MIT. 

Air Force is is ranked third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with a 186.681 average and is led by Abigail Rogers who holds an all-around season average of 37.387.

  Women's Gymnastics Notes

The No. 6 OU women's gymnastics squad bested Big 12 rival and 12th-ranked Nebraska 195.275-194.950 on Feb. 1 in Oklahoma's home opener.

Leading the charge was Ashley Jackson who topped co-Big 12 Gymnast of the Year Emily Parsons 39.275-39.250 for the all-around title in front of 1,238 fans at the Lloyd Noble Center.  It was the first career all-around title for the Hudsonville, Mich., native as the junior bested her previous best all-around score by 0.4.

Fresh off her first career all-around title that propelled OU to a 195.275-194.950 victory over conference rival Nebraska, OU junior Ashley Jackson was named the Big 12 Gymnast of the Week by the league Tuesday.

The Big 12 honor was the first for the Hudsonville, Mich., native, and marked the third consecutive week an OU gymnast had been awarded the top conference honor.  Kiara Redmond-Sturms had won the previous two, sharing last week's award with Nebraska's Emily Parsons.

Competing in every event for just the fourth time in her career, Jackson posted career highs in the all-around (39.275) and on floor (9.9) against the Cornhuskers, while also matching a career best on bars (9.825).  Jackson started the night off right by setting a season high on vault (9.825) in OU's first rotation, unveiling a new vault for the first time.

In all, Jackson recorded three top-3 finishes (vault, bars and floor) in her career night.

Following her all-around title against West Virginia that propelled OU to its highest score of the 2008 season, gymnast Kiara Redmond-Sturms was named co-Big 12 Gymnast of the Week by the league, sharing the honor with Nebraska's Emily Parsons.

It marked the second consecutive week that the senior All-American had earned the accolade.

The all-around title was the fourth of the year for the Los Angeles, Calif., native, as the Sooners coasted to wins over West Virginia, GWU and William & Mary in Morgantown, W. Va.

Champion on vault (9.875), bars (9.9) and floor (9.925), Redmond-Sturms finished second on beam to teammate Hollie Vise in the only event she didn't win. 

The senior All-American ranks second in the NCAA on floor (9.93), eighth on vault (9.885), 12th on bars (9.86) and 16th in the all-around (39.250).

Along with her all-around titles, Redmond-Sturms has won multiple season crowns on vault (4), bars (5) and floor (5).


OU junior Haley DeProspero won the beam title at the first three 2008 meets for the Sooners. Her season average of 9.845 on the apparatus ranks fifth in the nation.  The McKinney, Texas, native has company though.  Hollie Vise earned the first event title of her career after a 9.85 on beam at West Virginia, a week after being named the Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week.

The Sooners haven't been overly kind to their opponents early on this season. Through five events, Oklahoma has either won the event outright or shared title honors in 18 of a possible 20 event competitions. Winners of 17 outright titles, OU shared the floor title with Iowa at the Cancun Classic.

LUCKY NO. 6                                                           
Oklahoma remained sixth in the latest GymInfo rankings, released Monday, the highest of any Big 12 squad.  The poll, which is calculated by total season average until Feb. 11, also ranks the Sooners tops in the South Central region.

The Sooners hold top-15 rankings across the board, standing No. 15 nationally on vault, eighth on bars, seventh on beam and third on floor.

Individually, senior All-American Redmond-Sturms is second in the NCAA on floor (9.93), eighth on vault (9.885), 12th on bars (9.86) and 16th in the all-around (39.250).

Haley DeProspero (9.845) and Hollie Vise (9.825) also hold top-20 rankings on beam, standing fifth and 17th, respectively.  Jackson (9.865) and fellow junior Jessica Kinder (9.85) round out the top-20 rankings for the Sooners, as the pair rank 16th and 20th on the floor, respectively.

AMONG THE BIG 12's BEST                                                           
Leading OU in its win over TWU, Sooner gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Hollie Vise were honored as Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced Jan 23.

Redmond-Sturms won her third all-around title of the season with a career-high 39.65, the second-highest mark in OU women's gymnastics history. Highlighted by a career-high 9.95 in the win on the floor exercise, the Los Angeles, Calif., native also earned event titles on bars and vault against the Pioneers.

The five-time All-American leads all Big 12 opponents on bars, floor and the all-around average.

Redmond-Sturms has been honored by the Big 12 on three occasions during her OU career, as she was named the event specialist of the week on Jan. 31, 2007, after posting a perfect 10.00 on vault in the Sooners' wins over TWU, George Washington and Centenary.

Capped off by career high's in both events, Vise finished second on beam (9.9) to teammate Redmond-Sturms and third on the uneven bars (9.825) against TWU to earn her first weekly honor. The Dallas, Texas, native's 9.9 on beam tied for the second-highest non-OU beam score this season in the Big 12.

OU has won 22 of its last 23 regular-season matchup's dating back to Jan. 19, 2007.  Winners of all regular season meets on the year, the Sooners last regular season defeat was to Stanford on March 9, 2007 in Palo Alto, Calif.

After the quad meet in Denver, the Sooners return home to host Iowa State on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. (CST) inside the Lloyd Noble Center.  Billed as Beauty and the Beast night, the meet also features the OU wrestling squad who will take on Cal-Poly simultaneously with the gymnastics events.

The Sooners haven't been overly kind to their opponents early on this season. Through five events, Oklahoma has either won the event outright or shared title honors in 18 of a possible 20 event competitions. 
Winners of 17 outright titles, OU shared the floor title with Iowa at the Cancun Classic.

THROWN INTO THE MIX                                                           
True freshmen Natalie Ratcliff and Melanie Root have already seen significant action early on during their collegiate campaigns.  Root has been in the floor line-up in three `08 events and made her debut on vault at the Cancun Classic. Ratcliff made her first collegiate appearance against Central Michigan, scoring a 9.8 on vault against the Chippewas.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS                                            
Returning to her home state of Michigan for the first time in collegiate competition, Ashley Jackson recorded a 9.775 on vault, 9.875 on floor and a career-high 9.75 on bars to finish third in the all-around against CMU.

With the promising starts of Ratcliff and Root, the Sooners were able to rest senior Caitlin Hinkis and junior Jessica Kinder, who both were recovering from injuries. Now back in competition, the two add a mature presence to numerous event line-up's for the Sooners. In her first meet back, Kinder recorded a career high-tying 9.85 on floor against TWU.

Hinkis, a native of Simsbury, Conn.,  finished in the top five on bars four times last season.

THE BEAM DREAM TEAM                                               
Oklahoma posted a staggering 49.425 score on beam at the season-opening Cancun Classic. The  mark tied the second-highest score in program history and was the highest by an OU beam team since April 3, 2004.



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