Feb. 3, 2009
IRVING, Texas – University of Oklahoma gymnast Melanie Root was named co-Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week by the conference office on Tuesday. It’s the first conference honor for the Cartersville, Ga., native who tied career highs on vault (9.875) and bars (9.825) against No. 21 Minnesota en route to her first collegiate event title (vault).
Root shared the Big 12 accolade with Iowa State’s Ceilia Maccani, who scored a career-best 9.85 on beam and a 9.75 on vault in the Cyclone’s loss to Michigan.
Root’s bars score was higher than all but one of Minnesota’s competitors, as the sophomore led Oklahoma to event wins on vault and bars.
Her bars routine resulted in the top score of any Big 12 event specialist on the apparatus, while her vault tally was higher than all but one conference event specialist.
On the year, 50 percent of Root’s routines (four-of-eight) have gone for a score of 9.8 or better.
Ranked seventh in the latest poll, the Sooners (2-2) travel to No. 12 Nebraska (3-1) for their Big 12 opener on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 2 p.m. (CT) inside the Devaney Center.
Oklahoma will face reigning Big 12 Gymnast of the Week Kylie Stone, who took the bars (9.825) and floor (career-best 9.925) titles in guiding No. 12 Nebraska to a 195.325-194.625 win over No. 17 Penn State. She also placed second in the all-around (39.275) and matched her season high on vault (9.85) for runner-up honors.
OU is coming off of a 196.500-195.675 victory over No. 21 Minnesota on Jan. 30 in its “Beauty and the Beast” spectacular.
Oklahoma won three events against the Golden Gophers, as Oklahoma gymnasts also took home individual titles on vault (Root - 9.875), bars (Hollie Vise - 9.875) and floor (Jackie Flanery, Haley DeProspero and Ashley Jackson - 9.85 for all three).
The Sooners hold the top spot in the Big 12 on all four events, as OU is also the only conference squad to have a gymnast in the top two of the individual apparatus rankings on all four events.