Sooners Seek Third Straight Big 12 Crown

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 26, 2010

March 26, 2010


 No. 2 Oklahoma at Big 12 Championship
 Date  Saturday, March 27 at 2 p.m. (CT)
 Location  Lincoln, Neb. | Bob Devaney Center
 Tickets  800-8BIGRED
 Live Stats  Scoring
 Live Commentary  OU Routines
 2009 Recap
 OU wins second straight title
 Meet Notes  Sooners 

LINCOLN, Neb.  - Fresh off of its second undefeated regular season in the last three years, the second-ranked OU women’s gymnastics squad turns its attentions towards the postseason as the Sooners travel to Lincoln, Neb., for the Big 12 Championship on March 27 at 2 p.m. (CT).  Oklahoma is the only conference squad ranked in the top five on any apparatus, which the Sooners are on all four events.  

Individually, Hollie Vise (beam) and Jackie Flanery (floor) lead the country on their respective events.  Vise also leads the Big 12 with her third-place NCAA ranking on bars, while NU’s Erin Davis is the top vaulter in the conference (currently ranked second).   

OU is a win away from three straight conference titles for the first time since it reeled off back-to-back-to-back titles in 1984-1986.  A victory on Saturday would make OU only the second conference squad to win three straight Big 12 crowns.  Nebraska followed up its win in the inaugural Big 12 Championship (1997) with wins in 1998 and 1999, and also won back-to-back-to-back titles in 2001-2003.  

The Sooners and Huskers have combined to win eight of the last nine Big 12 titles.  2006 marked the only time since 2000 that one of the two didn’t stand atop the conference podium, as K.J. Kindler’s Iowa State squad posted a 196.425-196.275 victory in Lincoln over the hometown Huskers in her final year with ISU before taking the helm of the Oklahoma program.

Oklahoma Roster | 2010 Schedule and Results | Intro Video

OU has posted 63 scores of 9.9 or higher through its first 11 meets this season, compared to just 24 all of last season.   

Oklahoma is 55-6 in the regular season under K.J. Kindler, including a perfect 14-0 mark in 2010.  The Sooners are the only squad in the NCAA with a pair of undefeated regular seasons in the last three years.

The Sooners are averaging a 196.86 in true road events this season (excludes the Metroplex Challenge which took place at a neutral site in Dallas).  That road average alone would rank OU second in the NCAA by total season average (home and away scores), just behind Alabama’s 196.878 season average. 

Oklahoma was the only top-25 squad to have both of its top two scores from 2009 come in road competition.

OU is 5-0 against top-10 opponents this season, including four victories over SEC foes ranked in the top 10 at the time of the meeting.  Ten of Oklahoma’s 14 victories this year have come against top-25 squads.  

OU has trailed after a rotation just twice this season (at Missouri and at Illinois).  The Sooners haven’t trailed after the second rotation yet this season, overcoming a 49.150-49.100 deficit against the Tigers and a 49.100-49.000 deficit in Champaign to take leads at the halfway point of both meets.    

The Sooners are one of just six squads to advance to the NCAA Championships every year since 2004, joining Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Utah on that elite list.  OU’s six championship appearances in the last six years matches the other three Big 12 programs combined during that period.  Nebraska advanced to the NCAA Championships from 2004-07, while Iowa State made back-to-back appearances in 2005 and 2006 under K.J. Kindler.     

With its No. 1 ranking on Feb. 22, OU became the first Big 12 program to be ranked No. 1 in the country for multiple weeks during a single season. Oklahoma originally ascended to No. 1 nationally on Feb. 8, marking the first women’s sport at OU to be ranked No. 1 during the regular season.

Oklahoma has gone 49.425 or higher on every event this season, including a pair of 49.6-plus scores on floor.  The Sooners are the only squad in the NCAA this season with multiple scores of 49.600 on an apparatus.

With its 197.475-196.100 win at No. 6 Arkansas (7-4-1) on March 19, OU posted the highest team score ever recorded inside Barnhill Arena, easily outdistancing the 197.025 by Arkansas earlier this season and the 196.725 by visiting Georgia in 2009.  The Sooners also set arena records on bars (49.375) and beam (49.450).

The Sooners have got off to a very strong start over the past four meets, posting at least a 49.400 on vault in every appearance during that span.  OU’s event-winning score of 49.500 on vault against Alabama was the second highest score in program history, just behind its 49.575 set against Iowa State in 2002. 

Eighty-four of Oklahoma’s 264 routines this season have been performed by freshmen, including  almost half of OU’s uneven bars routines (31-of-66).  The group is 82-of-84 on the year.  Each freshman that has competed has scored at least a 9.8 in one of their routines, while Natasha Kelley has already tallied 22 scores of at least 9.85.


Megan Ferguson | Sophomore | UB,BB,FX
Ferguson burst onto the collegiate scene during the postseason last year, as the Olathe, Kan., native became the first freshman in Big 12 history to win multiple event titles at the conference championship (bars and beam). 

Ferguson capped off her stellar freshman campaign by garnering All-America status on beam at the 2009 NCAA Championship at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb.


Oklahoma holds the best season average of all four Big 12 squads on every apparatus, while the Sooners
hold the top mark in the individual standings on every event but vault. The back-to-back Big 12
Champions are 19-2 against conference opponents under K.J. Kindler.

The Sooners have already defeated three squads that competed in the Super Six at last year’s NCAA Championships, including 2009 NCAA runner-up Alabama.  Florida and Arkansas finished fourth and fifth, respectively.  

OU volunteer assistant Kelli Haley was the Big 12 beam champion at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb., in 1998.  The former Iowa State gymnast scored a 9.95 for the Cyclones.  Haley repeated a year later with a share of the event title with a 9.925. 

The Sooners claimed a conference-leading 10 spots on the 2010 All-Big 12 Gymnastics Team, the conference office announced Wednesday.  It marked the third straight year the Sooners have led all Big 12 foes on the regular season selection, which began in 2008. Oklahoma had six different gymnasts collect the 10 total honors.  No other conference opponent had more than two gymnasts named to the All-Big 12 team or more than six total accolades.  Meanwhile, the Sooners have had at least five selections every year under head coach K.J. Kindler.

The Sooners were the only conference squad to notch multiple honorees on an event.  OU did so on each apparatus. 

Headlining the 2010 award winners were OU's Hollie Vise and Megan Ferguson, who both earned multiple selections for the second consecutive season with honors on bars and beam. Kristin Smith was a two-time honoree in 2010 on beam and floor, after being named All-Big 12 on floor a year ago.

Sara Stone rounded out the repeat winners with her second-place standing on vault, the same event she earned the honor on in 2009. Despite competing on a 100% ACL tear the entire season, freshman Natasha Kelley earned the accolade on both vault and bars. 

Rounding out the OU selections was Jackie Flanery, who earned All-Big 12 honors on floor after being selected to the 2008 team on that event as a sophomore.  Flanery currently leads the NCAA with a 9.940 RQS on the apparatus.

Sara Stone’s 10.00 on vault at Michigan State was the first perfect score by an Oklahoma gymnast since Kiara Redmond posted one on vault against TWU on Feb. 29, 2008.  It was the third perfect routine in the NCAA this season and first by an underclassman.  It was the 11th perfect score in program history and fifth on vault.

The Sooners have posted a 49.625 and a 49.600 on floor exercise, two of the top marks in the NCAA on any apparatus this season.  OU has posted the highest event score of any Big 12 team on every apparatus in 2010.

The Sooners have collected 78 of a possible 88 combined individual and team event titles in 2010, including at least six combined individual and team event wins in each meet.


OU had a gymnast make their season debut on vault (Hollie Vise), bars (Melanie Root) and beam (Sara Stone) against Washington, marking the first time this season the Sooners have not had the same six gymnasts in a lineup on those three events.


OU has found a way to win despite the lack of a true all-around presence. Oklahoma’s only two all-around
competitors this season have been Hollie Vise last week against Washington and Kayla Nowak against Illinois. The Sooners were the only squad ranked in the final 2009 top-15 GymInfo poll without a gymnast in the top-25 all-around rankings.  Vise vaulted for the first time in collegiate competition en route to a 39.600 all-around score in the win.Nowak was a last-minute addition to the vault lineup at Illinois and placed second in her first collegiate all-around appearance.



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