Nov. 16, 2001
NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma's women's gymnastics program is pleased to announce the addition of four student-athletes for the 2002-2003 academic school year. Head coach Steve Nunno and his assistant coaches Nilson Savage and Jenny Rowland received signed letters-of-intent this year from: Katie Hostler of St. Louis, Mo., Kristen Cox of Walls, Miss., Melissa Smith of King, N.C., and Tara Anderson of Phoenix, Ariz. All four girls have extensive junior experience and according to Nunno, were the top-rated recruits in their respective states.
"We signed all of the girls we really wanted," said Nunno. "We think this is the best recruiting class Oklahoma has had in a long time and we're fortunate to have signed the number of girls, and the quality of girls, that we did. We can call this group the 'Fabulous Four.'"
Hostler is the daughter of Jim and Carolyn Hostler and she competed at Gym Quarters under the direction of Scott Cusimano. For the past two years, she was the Missouri state champion on the vault, uneven parallel bars and floor exercise, and was a member of the 2000 Junior National Team.
Cox competed at the Gym Stars gymnastics club in Memphis, Tenn., and was coached by Gene and Donna Alexin. At the 2001 Regional Championships, Cox finished first on vault, second on the uneven parallel bars and fourth in the all-around competition. She was a member of the 2000 Junior National Team and was the Level 10 champion on beam in her region. Her parents are Don and Brenda Cox of Walls, Miss.
Smith is the daughter of Rick and Nancy and competed for Salem Gymnastics, under the guidance of Kenny and Beth Morphis. She finished second in the all-around competition at the 2001 Junior National Championships and was the 1999 USAIGC national champion on the beam. Nunno is excited about the competitive spirit she will bring to the Sooners.
The daughter of Carole and Carley, Anderson comes to Norman from Phoenix, where she was the 2001 Arizona State Level 10 champion. She finished in the top 10 all-around at the 2001 Junior National Championships and was coached by David McCreary at the Arizona Sun Rays gymnastics club.
"Katie is a very talented athlete who is going to break things wide open and really blossom once she gets to OU," said Nunno. "Kristen is a Mary Lou Retton-type and Sooner fans should be excited to watch her. She has a lot of power and a great attitude, and we're expecting big things from her. Melissa was probably the most heavily-recruited of the girls we signed and I can definitely see her becoming a leader for us. Tara keeps improving every day and with the elite coaching she's had, she's going to be a fun gymnast to watch at the University of Oklahoma."