NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 5 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team will compete in its final home meet of the season this Friday, March 10, at the Lloyd Noble Center. The meet is slated to start at 7 p.m. and will be Senior Night for Tara Anderson, Coral Borda and Kristen Cox. In commemoration of the final home meet, fans can enjoy $.50 hot dogs and cokes.
The Sooners enter the meet with a 7-6 overall record (1-2 Big 12) and have won three consecutive meets. OU is 2-2 in home meets and 4-0 versus unranked opponents this season. Centenary comes to Norman holding a 6-9 overall record and is 4-4 in road meets.
“It will be a special night for our seniors,” said head coach Steve Nunno. “We hope our fans will come out and support the team and send our three seniors off with a nice farewell.”
Oklahoma is coming off 197.050-191.275 victory over Texas Woman’s University held at the Howard McCasland Field House. The Sooners swept all four team and individual events and earned their third consecutive victory. With the win, Oklahoma improved its record to one game over .500 for the first time this season.
Junior Brittney Koncak-Schumann won her fourth all-around competition of the season after recording a 39.050 and freshman Haley DeProspero finished in second place (38.800). Six different Sooners posted career highs in the victory and sophomore Stephanie LoPiccolo set a team season high on bars recording a 9.95.
The Centenary Ladies travel to Norman coming off a third-place finish in a quad meet hosted by Southeast Missouri. The team bested Ball State 188.775 to 187.325 but came up short against SEMO (191.975) and Missouri (195.550).
For the second meet in a row, Meredith Smith was Centenary’s top finisher in an event. She took third place with a 9.8 on the vault and Kristina Menne placed second in the all-around with a total score of 38.550.
“Centenary is a tough team and will be ready to compete,” Nunno said. “We can’t overlook them and we can’t afford any mental mistakes.”
Under head coach Steve Nunno, the Sooners have never faced Centenary in a dual meet. However, both teams did meet last season in a quad meet in the Oklahoma Invitational held at the Lloyd Noble Center. Oklahoma earned first-place honors with a 196.500 and Centenary came in third (192.075) behind Missouri.
Oklahoma will head to Kent, Ohio, on Friday, March 17, for a dual meet versus Kent State. The event will mark the final regular season meet for the Sooners before heading to Lincoln, Neb., on March 25, for the Big 12 Championship.
Lets Meet Our Seniors
Tara Anderson | Phoenix, Ariz. | Bars and Beam
Tara Anderson, from Phoenix, Ariz., joined the program in 2003 and immediately made an impact. During her freshman season she was a bars specialist posting a career-high 9.85 in the last two meets of the season and scored a 9.75 or better in eight of eleven meets. In 2004, she finished seventh on beam with a 9.875 at the NCAA West Regional and was named Academic All-Big 12 First Team. This season she recorded a season-high 9.675 on bars versus Southern Utah and has provided exceptional leadership for the team. Anderson plans to graduate in December of 2006 with a degree in Elementary Education.
Coral Borda | Rio de Janero, Brazil | Bars and Beam
Since joining the program in 2004, this senior from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has performed as a beam specialist for the Sooners. Coral Borda has provided tremendous leadership for Oklahoma in her two seasons and has brought an international flair to the program. This season, she recorded a career-high 9.825 on bars versus No. 1 Georgia. Against Texas Woman’s University, she recorded a career-high 9.9 on beam earning her a tie for first place on the event. In 2005, she competed on beam at every meet until suffering an ankle injury during the final week of the regular season. She returned to the lineup at the Northeast Regional, and helped the Sooners earn a second-place finish and the program’s fourth trip to the NCAA National Championships. Borda will graduate in May of 2007 with a dual degree in Human Relations and Health and Exercise Science.
Kristen Cox | Horn Lake, Miss. | All-Around
Kristen Cox, from Horn Lake, Miss., has been a vital piece of Oklahoma gymnastics for the last four seasons. Cox has routinely been one of Oklahoma’s most consistent performers and was named co-captain for this year’s team. Earlier this season, she recorded a 9.85 on vault versus Missouri to finish in second place. Last week, against Texas Womans University, she recorded a career-high 9.9 on vault and finished in a tie for second place. During the 2005 season, she completed a bar and vault routine at every meet and posted a career-high 9.85 on bars versus Iowa State. In 2004, Kristen’s 9.8 on beam, was vital in helping the Sooners win their first Big 12 Championship in program history. Cox will graduate this May with a degree in Human Relations.
The No. 5 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team posted a season-high 197.050 and Brittney Koncak-Schumann was crowned all-around champion as OU defeated Texas Woman’s University in the Howard McCasland Field House.
Oklahoma’s team score was the program’s highest score since the 2004 season where OU recorded a 197.100 at the NCAA West Regional Championships. That same season the Sooners recorded a 197.100 versus Southern Utah, a 197.300 against TWU and a 197.150 versus Air Force.
The Sooners swept all four team and individual events and earned their third consecutive victory. OU moves to a 7-6 overall record (1-2 Big 12) and TWU falls to 6-10. Under head coach Steve Nunno, the Sooners are a perfect 13-0 versus the Pioneers.
Oklahoma won on vault (49.475), uneven bars (49.450), balance beam (48.900) and floor exercise (49.225). Koncak-Schumann won the individual all-around competition with a 39.050 and freshman Haley DeProspero finished in second place (38.800). TWU’s Brisa Fuentes rounded out the top three with a 37.150.
The Sooners opened the meet on vault taking an early 49.475-46.600 lead over TWU. DeProspero recorded a career-high 9.925 to earn first-place honors. Koncak-Schumann and Kristen Cox both tied for second with a 9.9. The team score set a season high for Oklahoma defeating the Sooners’ previous high (49.375) set against LSU on Feb. 24.
On the next rotation, the Sooners moved to the uneven bars. OU posted another team event season high (49.450) and extended their lead over the Pioneers. Sophomore Stephanie LoPiccolo won her first career individual title posting a career-high 9.95. Koncak-Schumann and DeProspero finished in a tie for second (9.9) and Lori Winn came in fourth with a 9.85.
On beam, Coral Borda and Ashley Jackson both posted a career-high 9.9 to earn a share of first place. For both gymnasts, it marked their first career event titles. Winn finished in third place with a 9.875 and Kiara Redmond came in fourth (9.825).
The Sooners concluded the night on floor where Redmond and Tiffany Willin both posted a 9.875 to finish in a tie for first place. Koncak-Schumann and Jackson each recorded a 9.85 to tie for third.
Coral Borda recorded a career-high 9.9 on beam to earn a tie for first place with teammate Ashley Jackson ... Kristen Cox set a career high on vault (9.9) to finish in a tie for second with Brittney Koncak-Schumann ... Haley DeProspero posted a career-high 9.925 on vault to earn first place and tied for second on bars (9.9) ... Caitlin Hinkis recorded a career high (9.85) on bars to tie Lori Winn for fourth place ... Ashley Jackson posted career highs on beam (9.9) and floor (9.85), her mark on beam was good enough for a tie for first place with Coral Borda ... Brittney Koncak-Schumann posted a 39.050 in the all-around to earn first place and finished in a tie for second on beam (9.9) and bars (9.9) ... Stephanie LoPiccolo posted a career-high 9.95 on bars to earn her first individual event title of her career, the score also set an individual season team high ... Tiffany Willin recorded a season-high 9.875 on floor to earn a tie for first place with Kiara Redmond.
Sooners Set Season-High Score
The Sooners 197.050 team score versus TWU was the program’s highest score since the 2004 season. In 2004, OU recorded a 197.100 at the NCAA West Regional Championship. That same season the Sooners recorded a 197.100 versus Southern Utah, a 197.300 versus Texas Woman’s University and a 197.150 against Air Force. The program’s highest team score was set in 2003 against Arizona (197.725).
OU Versus Ranked Opponents
The Sooners’ 7-6 overall record can be a little deceiving. Oklahoma has faced one of its most challenging schedules in program history. OU is 3-6 on the season versus ranked opponents and has arguably the toughest schedule in the nation. The Sooners have faced No.1-ranked Georgia twice, No. 4 Iowa State, No. 7 LSU, No. 8 Stanford No. 11 Nebraska and No. 12 Missouri.
The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team moved up one spot to No. 5 in the latest GymInfo poll released on March 6. This marks the second time this season the Sooners have been ranked No. 5.
Oklahoma’s highest ranking in school history was achieved during the 2005 season when OU moved to No. 3. That same year they were ranked No. 5 for one week.
The Sooners stay in first in the South Central Region with a 196.210 RQS, but are still second behind Iowa State (196.225) in the Big 12 Conference.
In addition, Oklahoma’s vault team is ranked No. 2 nationally (49.265), tied for 11th on uneven bars (48.955), No. 5 on balance beam (49.020) and tied for No. 6 on floor exercise (49.140).
Individually, the Sooners continue to make a mark in the top 25. Junior Brittney Koncak-Schumann is ranked No. 8 in the all-around, tied for 11th on vault, tied for 17th on floor, No. 9 on beam and No. 25 on bars. Freshman Haley DeProspero is ranked No. 21 in the all-around and tied for 25th on vault. Sophomore Kiara Redmond is tied for 17th on floor and junior Lori Winn sits at a tie for 14th on balance beam.
The Big 12 continues to prove that it is arguably the toughest conference in the country with all four teams ranked in the top 15. Iowa State leads the way at No. 4, OU No. 5, Nebraska No. 11 and Missouri No. 12. It is the only conference other then the SEC that has four teams ranked in the top 15.
Unlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins and losses or votes. Gymnastics teams are ranked by their meet scores alone. From Jan. 9-Feb. 16, teams were ranked by their total season average.
Starting on Feb. 20, teams and gymnasts were ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). An RQS is based on a team’s top six regular-season scores, with three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the RQS, the team’s or gymnast’s highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged.
The Centenary Ladies enter the meet holding a 6-9 overall record and are coached by Bill Hardy. Hardy is in his sixth season as head coach and holds a 57-75 career record. Hardy has never faced the Sooners in a dual meet. The team is led by sophomore Meredith Smith and junior Kristina Menne. Both gymnasts hold season highs for the team on all four events. Smith recorded a team season-high 9.8 on vault and Menne posted team season highs on bars (9.725), beam (9.9), floor (9.75) and in the all-around (38.600). The Ladies have three seniors in Sarah Ball, Sarah Racioppi, and Carmen Reid, each of whom bring a wealth of experience to the team. Ball and Racioppi each earned USAG All-America status last year for Centenary.
Sooners vs. Ladies...Last Time Out
The last time OU and Centenary faced each other was at the Oklahoma Invitational in 2005. The meet was held at the Lloyd Noble Center with Centenary, Missouri and Texas Woman’s University all competing.
The Sooners posted a 196.500 to earn first-place honors, Missouri came in second (193.925), Centenary finished third (192.075) and TWU came in fourth (191.350). Oklahoma won all four team events and posted season-highs on beam (49.350) and floor exercise (49.450).
Individually, OU also dominated as four different Sooners won on the four different events. Brittney Koncak-Schumann (39.450) collected her first all-around title of the season, highlighted by a 9.85 routine that won the uneven bars title. Erin LaBarr won beam with her best score of the season, a 9.90. The Sooners also collected the other two event titles, with Ashley Cooney (9.925) winning vault and Kristen Cox (9.925) winning floor with a career-high score.
Big 12 Gymnastics 10th Anniversary Team
The Big 12 is selecting 10th anniversary teams for its sports in 2005-06 in celebration of its 10th Anniversary season. The Gymnastics team will be selected by the league’s head coaches and announced on March 22. In order to be eligible for the ballot, gymnasts must have won an event title at a conference championship.
Big 12 Gymnastics Championship
The 2006 Big 12 Gymnastics Championship will be Sat., March 25, at 7 p.m. in Lincoln, Neb., at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Tickets are available through the Nebraska ticket office.
Big 12 Gymnastics Action
No. 11 Nebraska: March 11 - at Alaska-Anchorage
No. 12 Missouri: March 11 - at Iowa
No. 4 Iowa State: March 10 at Arizona State
No. 5 Oklahoma: March 10 - vs. Centenary