March 21, 2001

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The Championships Have Arrived
The host of this year's Big 12 Championships, the OU women's squad should be in for a battle at the Big 12 Championships as the No. 20 Sooners will be competing against fourth-ranked Nebraska, ninth-ranked Iowa State and Missouri.

Nebraska (15-1) scored an impressive 197.100 to win the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. Jess Wertz scored a 10.0 on the vault to lead the Huskers.

NU is ranked in the top eight in all four team events.

Iowa State (9-5) is coming off 196.400-193.950 victory over Iowa on Tuesday in which the team set a new school record on vault (49.400) and Shelly Kringen scored a 10.0 on the vault. Sissy Huey is No. 10 in the all-around nationally (39.365) while Kringen is No. 3 on the floor exercise (9.945).

Missouri (4-11) scored a team-high 194.124 on Saturday, but lost to Michigan State (195.000) in East Lansing, Mich.

MPSF Championships
After a week layoff, the Sooner men will travel to Berkeley, Calif., for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Champoionihsips, hosted by the University of California.

The Sooners are the defending MPSF Champions, winning last year in Colorado Springs, Coloardo.

The MPSF is a six-team conference consisting of Air Force, California, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Santa Barbara and Stanford.

Beside the Sooners, California (No. 7) and Stanford (No. 11) and Nebraska (No. 20) are ranked in the top 20 as well.

Women's Facts & Figures

  • The women's team has three more victories this season (15) than all of last year (12).
  • Four gymnasts earned Academic All-Big 12 honors. Sophomores Patricia Aoki, Leticia Ishii, and Leah Mueller all made first team while Junior Mariana Goncalves earned second-team accolades.
  • Several gymnasts have broken into the OU record books. The following lists the 2001 individual scores that rank in top two in school history:

Mariana Goncalves
*Bars T1st, 9.975, Jan. 27 Leticia Ishii
*Floor T1st, 9.950, Mar. 16

Carla DeMartini
*Vault T2nd, 9.950, Mar. 16

Leah Mueller
*VaultT2nd, 9.950, Mar. 16

Men's Facts & Figures

  • OU's men are the top-ranked squad in the MPSF in five of six events-floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault and parallel bars. The Sooners are ranked second nationally, trailing only California.
  • Individually, Sooner gymnasts ledad the conference in three events. Seniors Brendan O'Neil (floor exercise, 9.487) and Steve Van Etten (pommel horse, 9.20) and sophomore Brett Covey (still rings, 9.675) all hold at least a point's edge in their respective events. Sophomore Daniel Furney is ranked second in the all-around.

OU Women Masters Texas Woman's University
The Sooners (15-4) defeated Texas Woman's University, 195.225-194.100, for the fourth time this season last Friday at the OU Fieldhouse in Norman.

OU broke the team record on the vault with a 49.425 and sophomore Leticia Ishii tied the mark with a 9.950 on the floor exercise to claim the title.

The Sooners were led by freshman Kasie Tamayo, who notched victories on the uneven parallel bars (9.925), balance beam (9.900) and the all-around (39.550).

Tamayo's AA score tied for the second highest in school history and was her third all-around title of the season.

Freshman Carla DeMartini and sophomore Leah Mueller tied for first on the vault with a 9.950, the second-highest all-time in the OU annuals.

Big 12 Championships
For the first time since 1997, the University of Oklahoma will be hosting the Big 12 Women's Gymnastics Championships.

The event will take place March 24, 2001, at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. The Lloyd Noble Center is located at the southwest corner of the Imhoff Rd. and Jenkins Ave. intersection, just north of Highway 9.

Four teams - Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma - will compete in the championships. Iowa State won the conference crown last year in Ames, Iowa.

Tickets for the meet are five dollars for adults and two dollars for children (12 and under). For more information, call the University of Oklahoma Athletic Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-4668.