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OU Looks for Season Sweep of TWU
February 28, 2008

 No. 6 Oklahoma vs. Texas Woman's University
 Date  Friday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. CT
 Location  Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center
 Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office
 Online  Live Scoring | Live Webcast: All-Access
 Promotions  Meet Promotions

NORMAN, Okla. - The undefeated University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics squad returns home for a rematch with Texas Woman's University on Friday, February 29.

Off to the best start in program history (14-0), the Sooners clinched the regular season Big 12 title in last week's defeat of No. 13 Missouri (196.075-195.750), sweeping all conference squads on the year.

OU defeated the TWU Pioneers by a score of 196.450-192.800 in Denton, Texas, on Jan. 19, recording its second-highest team score of the season in the process.

Billed as "Flip for a Cure" night, the meet is OU's breast cancer awareness event. OU gymnasts will wear pink leotards for the event and they encourage everyone in attendance to wear pink as well.

The first 350 fans through the gates will receive their choice of a free pair of pink crocs or a free pink "Flip for a Cure" T-shirt while supplies last.
Live scoring will be available at www.SoonerSports.com with a webcast available for All-Access members as well.

 Opponent Preview

Winners of six straight, the Pioneers hold a 7-9 record in 2008 and enter Friday's meet off of a 193.850-189.975 victory over Centenary on Feb. 17. 

TWU is led by all-arounder Jennifer Liberato and event specialist Courtney Arno-Templet. Both enter Friday's meet on a hot streak as Arno-Templet posted a season-high tying 9.875 on bars against Centenary, while Liberato scored a career-high 38.775 during the same meet.

The Pioneers are coached by Frank Kudlac, who is in his 30th year with the Pioneers and has coached TWU since the
program's inception.

  Tentative Line-Up

NAME/SEASON HIGH

VAULT                         
1. Jackie Flanery - 9.825
2. Haley DeProspero - 9.825
3. Jessica Kinder - 9.825
4. Natalie Ratcliff - 9.800
5. Mary Mantle - 9.900
6. Kiara Redmond-Sturms - 10.00

BARS                         
1. Mary Mantle - 9.750
2. Caitlin Hinkis - 9.825
3. Haley DeProspero - 9.825
4. Hollie Vise - 9.875
5. Stephanie LoPiccolo - 9.875
6. Kiara Redmond-Sturms - 9.925

BEAM                      
1. Jessica Kinder - 9.800
2. Kiara Redmond-Sturms - 9.875
3. Kristin Smith - 9.850
4. Stephanie LoPiccolo - 9.900
5. Hollie Vise - 9.900
6. Haley DeProspero - 9.925

FLOOR                         
1. Kristin Smith - 9.850
2. Jessica Kinder - 9.850
3. Melanie Root - 9.750
4. Haley DeProspero - 9.875
5. Jackie Flanery - 9.875
6. Kiara Redmond-Sturms - 9.950

ALL-AROUND                        
1. Kiara Redmond-Sturms - 39.650
2. Haley DeProspero - 39.275

  Women's Gymnastics Notes

LAST WEEK'S RECAP: REGULAR SEASON BIG 12 CHAMPS                   
It came down to the final gymnast, but the sixth-ranked OU women's gymnastics team (14-0) escaped Columbia, Mo., with a 196.075-195.750 victory over No. 13 Missouri on Feb. 22 inside the Hearnes Center on the MU campus. The Sooners won event titles on vault, bars and floor -- moving their season total to 27 event honors.

OU was without the services of all-arounder Ashley Jackson who injured her leg during vault warm-up's.  The win halted a three-match win streak for Mizzou, who entered the meet ranked No. 13, as OU won the 27th of the last 28 regular-season matchup's.

With the win, the Sooners are the regular season Big 12 champs, sweeping all conference foes in 2008.
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UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS
With their victory over Missouri, the Sooners are off to the best start to a season in program history.  OU's win over the Tigers marked its 14th-straight victory in 2008, besting the start of the 1985 Oklahoma squad that went 13-0 before placing 10th at the NCAA Championships.
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CONTINUED CONFERENCE DOMINATION
University of Oklahoma senior All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms and sophomore Hollie Vise were honored as Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced on Feb. 19.
 
An OU athlete garnered gymnast of the week honors for five consecutive weeks.  The announcement marked the third time this season that Oklahoma had won both conference awards and the second straight week it had occurred.

Hitting the perfect mark, Redmond-Sturms became the first woman in OU gymnastics history to post two perfect 10.00s in a career.  It was only the ninth 10.00 in school history and just the second perfect score in the NCAA this season.  The Los Angeles, Calif., native has garnered six all-around titles and 19 event honors already this season.

Vise picked up her second conference accolade of the year after the 2003 World Champion won her first collegiate bars title with a career-high 9.875, while tying Haley DeProspero for the event title on beam (9.875).  Her two event titles were the most for the Dallas, Texas, native in any single competition of her career.
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SITTIN' PRETTY AT NUMBER SIX

Oklahoma holds a sixth-place ranking in the latest GymInfo poll -- the highest of any conference squad -- in the second full week that the regional qualifying score (RQS) is used to determine the rankings. The RQS is based on a team's six best regular-season-meet scores, of which three must be away. To obtain the RQS, the high score is eliminated and the remaining five scores are averaged.
 
Oklahoma holds top-13 event standings across the board, highlighted by a No. 4 ranking on the floor exercise.  OU's RQS floor average of 49.255 is just 0.095 points behind top-ranked Georgia, who has won the last three NCAA titles.
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NATIONALLY KNOWN NAMES
Individually, Redmond-Sturms holds the third spot in the country in the all-around rankings with an RQS average of 39.405, besting all conference opponents.   Redmond-Sturms (9.920) and Haley DeProspero (9.875) are both ranked second in the nation on floor and balance beam, respectively.

The beam duo of Stephanie LoPiccolo and Hollie Vise stand 18th in the latest rankings, both holding a season average of 9.825 on the apparatus. 

On floor, Ashley Jackson (ninth) and Jackie Flanery (12th) team up with Redmond-Sturms (second) as the three are all ranked in the top-25 in the event.

Rounding out the top-25 rankings for Oklahoma is Redmond-Sturms' 10th-place standing on vault (9.885).

 Media Guide | Meet Notes  

WEEKLY CONFERENCE HONORS... AGAIN
After leading the OU women's gymnastics squad to its quad meet win over Denver, Utah State and Air Force, Sooner gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Mary Mantle were honored as Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week.
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MARY'S MILESTONE
Mary Mantle, a sophomore, won the first event title of her career after she posted a 9.9 on vault in Denver, Colo., on Saturday, garnering her first Big 12 conference award.  The stuck routine was witnessed by 2,195 fans inside Hamilton Gymnasium, including many that were rooting on the Bellvue, Colo., native, after making the short drive to Denver.  Mantle was making her first appearance in a collegiate competition in her home state.
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CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'
Through eight events in 2008, Los Angeles, Calif., native Kiara Redmond-Sturms is having the kind of season any gymnast would dream about.  The five-time All-American won her sixth all-around title in eight meets against Iowa State on Feb. 15.

Winner of four Big 12 Gymnast of the Week honors already this season, Redmond-Sturms has netted 25 individual titles through eight events.
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REGULAR SEASON SENSATIONS
OU has won 27 of its last 28 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.
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COMING UP NEXT...
After OU's rematch with the Pioneers, the Sooners close out their home schedule in welcoming Auburn to the Lloyd Noble Center on March 7, for Senior Night.  One lucky OU student will win a $1,000 scholarship that will be deposited directly into their bursar account. Below is a full list of promotions:
   • The first 500 fans in attendance will receive free OU pom poms.
   • OU seniors will be recognized during a ceremony following the meet.
   • Post-meet autographs with the team on the upper concourse.
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DOMINATING THE COMPETITION
The Sooners haven't been overly kind to their opponents this season. Through seven events, Oklahoma has either won the event outright or shared title honors in 27 of a possible 32 event competitions. 
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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.
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RACKING UP THE CONFERENCE HONORS
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 on Feb. 5.  The Big 12 honor was the first for the Hudsonville, Mich., native.

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.
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NEW YEAR, SAME RESULTS
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.

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. 
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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.

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 highest non-OU beam score this season in the Big 12.
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THE BEAM QUEEN(S)
OU junior Haley DeProspero won the beam title at the first three 2008 meets for the Sooners and added another title on the apparatus at Denver, against ISU (sharing the honor with Vise against the Cyclones) and at Mizzou (sharing the honor with Stephanie LoPiccolo). 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, then tied DeProspero against ISU (9.875).
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REST AND RELAXATION
With the promising starts of Ratcliff, 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 and a remarkable 9.8 on beam as a last-second fill-in for the injured Ashley Jackson at Missouri.

Hinkis, a native of Simsbury, Conn.,  finished in the top five on bars four times last season and scored a 9.825 on the apparatus against ISU in her first meet back.
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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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KINDLER SIGNS THREE FOR 2008
The Oklahoma women's gymnastics team posted its best finish in NCAA history last spring and recruits are taking notice. Head coach K.J. Kindler announced one of the most decorated classes in OU history during the early announcement period, signing three gymnasts to National Letters of Intent.  Megan Ferguson, Natasha Kelley and Sara Stone will join the Sooners in the fall of 2008.
 
Ferguson, a Level 10 from Blue Valley High School in Olathe, Kan., trains at Eagles Gymnastics, the former club of current OU gymnast Jacqueline Flanery.  Ferguson was two-time Junior Olympic Nationals beam champion and five-time J.O. Nationals qualifier. She has dominated state competition, winning the level 10 all-around title in 2005, `06 and `07 while sweeping every individual event honor all three seasons as well.

Kelley enters the OU program as a four-time U.S. National Team member.  The senior elite gymnast from Katy, Texas, has found success on both the international and national stage, finishing second in the all-around of the 2006 Visa Championships, after capturing the all-around title a year prior in the junior division of the Visa Championships. In her `06 Visa Championships runner-up finish, Kelley finished second on the uneven bars and beam, and fourth on the floor exercise.  Kelley shared all-around honors at the 2006 U.S. Classic, placing first on the uneven bars, second on vault and fourth on beam and floor. At the 2007 Visa Championships, Kelley finished 10th in the all-around after placing sixth on the beam and ninth on the uneven bars. On the International stage, Kelley won the all-around title at the 2007 Houston International Invitational, placing first on the beam, floor, uneven bars, and second on the vault.  The 17-year old placed second at the 2007 Tyson American Cup and fourth in the all-around of the `07 USA vs. Great Britain International Competition in Lisburn, Ireland. She also captured all-around titles at both the `05 Junior Gymnastics Competition in Yohohama, Japan, and the Olympiad Elite in Ensenada, Mexico, a year prior.  Kelley helped the U.S. squad to a silver medal at the 2006 World Championships as a finalist on floor.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Stone is a member of Metroplex Gymnastics where she is coached by Bryan Streeter, Dave Marus, and Jana and Marcus Harlin.  The Spring Creek Academy senior and junior elite gymnast is a two-time qualifier for the U.S. Classic. She won the all-around title at the 2005 Metroplex Challenge and won the beam title at the 2006 level 10 Texas state competition.
 

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