Feb. 14, 2002

NORMAN, Okla. - The top-ranked Oklahoma men's gymnastics team is not only successful in the gym but in the classroom as well. The Sooners placed 11 gymnasts on the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll for the 2001 fall semester.

Senior David Johnston (Dallas, Texas) and freshman Michael Gehart (Cornelius, N.C.) earned 4.00 grade point averages to top the team. Other members of the honor roll include senior Everette Bierker (Bardonia, N.Y.), senior Ryan Hillyer, senior Jim Lovelady (El Paso, Texas), senior John Payton (Round Rock, Texas), junior Shannon Carrion (Tallahassee, Fla.), junior Bretty Covey (Houston, Texas), junior Daniel Furney (New Braunfels, Texas) and freshman Josh Gore (Austin, Texas).

"I'm tremendously proud of the guys," said OU head coach Mark Williams. "I've always tried to make it a goal of our program to maintain a 3.00 team GPA, and we accomplished that this past semester. We teach the guys to be good students, perform well both academically and athletically and represent the university in everything they do. I think I have a group of guys who really understand what they're here for."

Criteria for making the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll is that student-athletes maintain at least a 3.00 GPA for the semester.

Oklahoma returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 16, against defending national champion Ohio State, who is ranked No. 7, and No. 2 Illinois, in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes have not lost on their home floor since the Sooners defeated them in 1991, going on to win the national championship.