Feb. 23, 2010
IRVING, Texas – University of Oklahoma redshirt freshman gymnast Natasha Kelley was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week, announced by the conference office Tuesday afternoon.
Kelley is the Sooners third straight honoree of the weekly conference accolade and fifth different OU gymnast to garner the award this season, tying Oklahoma’s Big 12 record set in 2008.
Competing on a 100% torn ACL, Kelley led OU to its highest road score of the season (197.050) at Missouri on Feb. 19, with three routines of 9.85 or higher including a career-high 9.9 on vault.
Kelley’s stellar night vaulted Oklahoma back to No. 1 in the NCAA in Monday’s Troester rankings, marking the first time a Big 12 program has been the top-ranked squad in the NCAA for multiple weeks during a single season.
The Katy, Texas, native bested every Missouri event specialist on every apparatus she competed, with top-five finishes on all three events. Kelley ranks ahead of all Big 12 opponents on bars with a RQS of 9.855.
Kelley joins Jackie Flanery (Jan. 12), Hollie Vise (Jan. 26), Megan Ferguson (Feb. 9) and Kristin Smith (Feb. 16) as OU gymnasts have garnered the accolade on five of a possible seven occasions. The mark ties OU’s conference record from 2008, when Flanery, Smith, Vise, Haley (Horton) DeProspero and Mary Mantle took home event specialist honors. No other Big 12 squad has had more than three different gymnasts win the award in a single season.
Oklahoma returns to action at No. 23 Michigan State on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. (CT).