May 5, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. – The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics squad celebrated its historic 2011 season last weekend with its annual postseason banquet at the Kerr McGee Courtside Club at the Lloyd Noble Center.
OU’s coaching staff and gymnasts were joined by friends, family, support staff and booster club members in celebration of the past season with dinner and season highlights video.
Additionally, the OU coaching staff handed out seven awards that were voted on by the team.
Natasha Kelley was given the Kelly Garrison Award for 2011 which honors the team’s most valuable gymnast. The award is named after OU’s most decorated gymnast in program history, Kelly Garrison.
Garrison was a four-time national champion (1988 – All Around, Bars and Beam, 1987 – All-Around) and seven-time All-American. Garrison also won the Honda Award in both 1987 and 1988, given to the nation’s most outstanding gymnast.
Garrison went on to become the first collegiate gymnast to compete on the national Olympic team. Garrison was the USA team captain during the 1988 Olympic Games.
Kayla Nowak won two awards at the banquet, the Bonomo Spirit Award and the Most Outstanding Gymnast award.
The Bonomo Spirit Award is named after OU alum Tricia Bonomo. Bonomo is still very involved with the program and is known for her constant support and contagious enthusiasm. The award is given to the gymnast who best exemplifies team unity and inspiration.
Nowak also won the Most Outstanding Gymnast award which is given to the gymnast who best embodies the whole student-athlete including athletics, academics, community service and campus involvement.
Other award winners included Megan Ferguson (Most Consistent Gymnast), Madison Mooring (Newcomer of the Year), Taylor Spears (OU Commitment/Most Improved) and Hayden Ward (Clutch Performance of the Year).
The Sooners finished third at the 2011 NCAA Championships after making their second straight Super Six appearance. OU trailed national champion Alabama by just four-tenths and second place UCLA by .125.
OU won its NCAA semifinal session for the first time in program history on day one of NCAA Championships. OU was the only team out of the 12 participants to score above a 49.000 on beam during semifinals.
OU won the regional title for the second consecutive season as the Sooners posted a program-best postseason score of 197.350 in the Norman Regional on April 2.
OU had a program-record 11 All-America honors in 2011, while four gymnasts competed at the 2011 NCAA Individual Event Finals.
Freshman Madison Mooring finished as the national runner-up on vault, Natasha Kelley finished in fourth on beam while Megan Ferguson was eighth on the event.
The Sooners led the Big 12 conference with nine All-Big 12 selections and five Academic All-Big 12 honorees.
OU finished second at the 2011 Big 12 Championships for the first time since 2007, but claimed three individual Big 12 titles. Megan Ferguson and Natasha Kelley shared the beam title while Kayla Nowak won the floor title.
OU also clinched its third perfect regular season in four years in 2011, and was the only team in the NCAA to end the 2011 season undefeated.