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OU Ends Regular Season in Minn.
March 20, 2008

March 20, 2008

 No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 25 Minnesota
 Date  Saturday, March 22 at 6 p.m. (CDT)
 Location  Minneapolis, Minn. 
 Online  Live Scoring | Webcast

NORMAN, Okla. - Attempting to close the regular season with an unblemished 18-0 record, the No. 9 University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics squad travels to Minneapolis, Minn., on Saturday to take on the 25th-ranked Golden Gophers of Minnesota.

The Sooners enter Saturday's meet after a come-from-behind victory at No. 11 Arkansas in which Oklahoma tied a season high with its 196.750 team score to defeat an Arkansas team that tied a program-high score of 196.625 in the loss.

OU's Kiara Redmond-Sturms won her Big 12-leading ninth all-around title against Arkansas, picking up two additional individual titles (floor-9.95, bars-9.875 - tied Hollie Vise), pushing her season total to 36. Sophomore teammate Kristin Smith picked up the first event title of her career after a career-high 9.925 on beam against the Gym'Backs.

 Opponent Preview

Ranked 25th in the latest GymInfo poll, Minnesota (11-6) enters Saturday's contest with a RQS of 194.665. The Golden Gophers' RQS ranks fourth in the North Central region. Minnesota is led by Carmelina Carabajal, who holds a RQS season average of 39.195 in the all-around.

The Golden Gophers are coming off a season-high 195.375 in a second-place finish at the W West Virginia quad meet in Morgantown, W.Va., on March 15.

OU will face Minnesota on Senior Night as the Golden Gophers honor Amanda Miles, Ashley Mutchler and Ashley Stanton in their final regular season meet inside the Sports Pavilion.
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ONLY TWO LEFT STANDING
OU and Michigan are the only two squads in the latest GymInfo top-25 poll with an unblemished record during the 2008 season. While OU closes at Minnesota, Michigan hosts No. 3 Utah in Ann Arbor, Mich., during the Wolverines final regular season contest. Utah lost its first meet of the year last weekend at the hands of second-ranked Florida.
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TUESDAY'S THE NEWS DAY
Another Tuesday has come and gone, as OU added an additional two conference awards to its season stockpile. Kiara Redmond-Sturms was named Co-Big 12 Gymnast of the Week on March 18th as teammate Kristin Smith picked up OU's fifth Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week honor in the past six announcements. It was the sixth time this season that Redmond-Sturms had been awarded Gymnast of the Week honors and the seventh time in her OU career that she garnered a weekly award. The conference award was the first for Smith.

The announcement marked the fifth time this season that Oklahoma has won both conference awards during the same week.
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NATIONALLY KNOWN NAMES
Individually, Redmond-Sturms holds the second spot in the country in the all-around rankings with an RQS average of 39.530, besting all conference opponents. Redmond-Sturms (9.935 - second) and Haley DeProspero (9.885 - seventh) both hold top-10 rankings on floor and balance beam, respectively.

Hollie Vise stands 20th in the latest rankings on beam, holding a RQS season average of 9.865 on the apparatus.

On floor, Jackie Flanery stands 24th in the country, teaming up with Redmond-Sturms (second) as the duo are both ranked in the top 25 in the event.

Rounding out the top-25 rankings for Oklahoma is Redmond-Sturms' 10th-place standing on vault (9.905) and bars (9.885).
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UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS
With their victory over Ark, the Sooners continue to build on the best start to a season in program history.  OU's win over the Gym'Backs marked its 17th-straight victory in 2008, besting the start of the 1985 Oklahoma squad that went 13-0 before placing 10th at the NCAA Championships.

 Media Guide | Meet Notes | OU Children's Hospital Visit

REMAINING NINTH
Oklahoma remained ninth in the latest GymInfo poll -- the highest of any Big 12 squad -- in the fifth week that the regional qualifying score (RQS) is used to determine the rankings. The RQS is based on a team's six best regular-season-meet scores, of which three must be away. To obtain the RQS, the high score is eliminated and the remaining five scores are averaged.

Oklahoma holds top-13 event standings across the board, highlighted by a No. 4 ranking on the floor exercise (49.315).
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CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'
Through 11 events in 2008, Los Angeles, Calif., native Kiara Redmond-Sturms is having the kind of season any gymnast would dream about. The five-time All-American won her ninth all-around title against Arkansas on March 15.

Winner of six Big 12 Gymnast of the Week honors already this season, Redmond-Sturms has netted a Big 12-leading 36 individual titles in 2008.
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REGULAR SEASON SENSATIONS
OU has won 30 of its last 31 regular-season matchup's dating back to Jan. 19, 2007. Winners of all regular season meets on the year, the Sooners last regular season defeat was to Stanford on March 9, 2007 in Palo Alto, Calif.
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DOMINATING THE COMPETITION
The Sooners haven't been overly kind to their opponents this season. Through 11 events, Oklahoma has either won the event outright or shared title honors in 33 of a possible 40 event competitions.
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COMING UP NEXT...
After its meet with the Golden Gophers, OU turns its attention towards the postseason as the team returns to the friendly confines of the Lloyd Noble Center for back-to-back events before hopefully qualifying for the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga. OU hosts both the Big 12 Championship (March 29) and NCAA South Central Regional (April 12) in Norman.
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LOOKING BACK AT THE VICTORY OVER ARKANSAS
Knocking off the 11th-ranked team in the nation for the second consecutive week, OU tied a season-high team score of 196.750 in defeating Arkansas (196.625) in Fayetteville, Ark., on March 15 in front of 1,471 fans inside Barnhill Arena.

OU survived a career day from the home team, as Arkansas tied a program record
with its team score of 196.625. The Sooners didn't lead until late in the third rotation, but snagged its second-straight victory over an SEC opponent with a 49.275 on beam - the highest team total on the apparatus since the season-opening Cancun Classic.
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AN EXTRA SPECIAL BIRTHDAY
OU gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Melanie Root had an extra reason to celebrate OU's victory over Arkansas as the pair celebrated birthdays on the weekend as well. Redmond-Sturms took home the all-around title against the Gym'Backs in posting the third highest score in the Big 12 this season (she owns all three high marks), while Root posted a career-high 9.825 on vault in her first action on the apparatus in two months.
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HIGH MARKS FOR EVERYONE
Not to be outdone by Arkansas' program-best 196.625 in the loss to OU, several Sooner gymnasts set personal bests as well. Kristin Smith won the first event title of her Oklahoma career after a career-high 9.925 on beam, after tying a personal best with a 9.85 on floor. Jackie Flanery also notched a career high on floor with her 9.9 effort. Redmond-Sturms tied a career high on beam with a score of 9.9 and Melanie Root posted a 9.825 on vault, marking a career best for the freshman. Last but not least, Mary Mantle set a personal best with her 9.8 on bars while Hollie Vise's 9.9 on beam tied a career high.
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ROAD WARRIORS
Three of Oklahoma's top four scores in 2008, including a season-best-tying 196.750 at last week's meet at Arkansas, have come on the road for the Sooners. Going further, four of OU's top six scores in 2008 have come outside of Norman.
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PROTECTING THE HOUSE
Winners of all four home events in 2008, the Sooners last lost in Norman on Feb. 10, 2006, a span of 11 consecutive match ups. Ironically, OU's last home defeat came at the hands of an Iowa State team that was coached by K.J. Kindler - OU's current head coach.
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LIKE CLOCKWORK...
After leading the undefeated OU women's gymnastics squad (16-0) to a victory over No. 11 Auburn on March 7, Sooner gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Jackie Flanery were honored as Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced on March 11.  The conference award was the first for Flanery.
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BRING OUT THE BROOMS
OU swept all four event titles against Auburn, claiming the top spot in the individual standings on every apparatus as well. It marked the second straight meet the Sooners had accomplished the feat, doing so against TWU as well.
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VISE AND COMPANY NAMED TO USAG HALL OF FAME
University of Oklahoma sophomore gymnast Hollie Vise was named to the 2008 class of inductees for the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame as part of the 2003 U.S. Women's World Championships Team, announced by the organization on March 4.

The 2003 World Champion on bars, Vise was a member of the `03 squad that claimed the USA's first world team title.

An International Elite gymnast since the age of 11, Vise was a two-time National Champion on bars and balance beam and won a silver medal in the all-around at the same competition on three occasions.

A member of the U.S. National Team for six years, the Dallas, Texas, native won two bronze medals at the 2001 Goodwill Games in Australia.
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VISE GARNERS EVENT SPECIALIST OF THE WEEK HONORS
The Dallas, Texas, native capped off an already exciting afternoon, in which she was named the USAG Hall of Fame, by winning Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week honors for her performance against TWU. 

The selection marked the third time this season that the conference has named Vise the recipient of the award.

The Dallas, Texas, native played a vital role in the No. 10 Sooners remaining undefeated on the year (15-0), winning the bars title with a career-high-tying score of 9.875 and a share of the beam title with all-around winner and teammate Kiara Redmond-Sturms (9.825).  The two event honors marked the second time this season that Vise has won multiple titles during a single meet.

Her score of 9.875 on bars bested all conference gymnasts on the week but one, which she tied. Vise was the only Big 12 event specialist competing in multiple events that scored a 9.8 or higher on every apparatus.  
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HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
Returning to her home state of Michigan for the first time in collegiate competition, Ashley Jackson recorded a 9.775 on vault, 9.875 on floor and a career-high 9.75 on bars to finish third in the all-around against CMU.
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RACKING UP THE CONFERENCE HONORS
Fresh off her first career all-around title that propelled OU to a 195.275-194.950 victory over conference rival Nebraska, OU junior Ashley Jackson was named the Big 12 Gymnast of the Week by the league on Feb. 5.  The Big 12 honor was the first for the Hudsonville, Mich., native.

Competing in every event for just the fourth time in her career, Jackson posted career highs in the all-around (39.275) and on floor (9.9) against the Cornhuskers, while also matching a career best on bars (9.825).  Jackson started the night off right by setting a season high on vault (9.825) in OU's first rotation, unveiling a new vault for the first time.

In all, Jackson recorded three top-3 finishes (vault, bars and floor) in her career night.
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NEW YEAR, SAME RESULTS
Following her all-around title against West Virginia that propelled OU to its highest score of the 2008 season, gymnast Kiara Redmond-Sturms was named co-Big 12 Gymnast of the Week by the league, sharing the honor with Nebraska's Emily Parsons.

Champion on vault (9.875), bars (9.9) and floor (9.925), Redmond-Sturms finished second on beam to teammate Hollie Vise in the only event she didn't win. 
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AMONG THE BIG 12's BEST
Leading OU in its win over TWU, Sooner gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Hollie Vise were honored as Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced Jan. 23.

Redmond-Sturms won her third all-around title of the season with a career-high 39.65, the second-highest mark in OU women's gymnastics history. Highlighted by a career-high 9.95 in the win on the floor exercise, the Los Angeles, Calif., native also earned event titles on bars and vault against the Pioneers.

Capped off by career high's in both events, Vise finished second on beam (9.9) to teammate Redmond-Sturms and third on the uneven bars (9.825) against TWU to earn her first weekly honor. The Dallas, Texas, native's 9.9 on beam tied for the highest non-OU beam score this season in the Big 12.
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THE BEAM QUEEN(S)
OU junior Haley DeProspero won the beam title at the first three 2008 meets for the Sooners and added another title on the apparatus at Denver, against ISU (sharing the honor with Vise against the Cyclones) and at Mizzou (sharing the honor with Stephanie LoPiccolo). The McKinney, Texas, native has company though.  Hollie Vise earned the first event title of her career after a 9.85 on beam at West Virginia, a week after being named the Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week, then tied DeProspero against ISU (9.875).
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REST AND RELAXATION
With the promising starts of Ratcliff, the Sooners were able to rest senior Caitlin Hinkis and junior Jessica Kinder, who both were recovering from injuries. Now back in competition, the two add a mature presence to numerous event line-up's for the Sooners. In her first meet back, Kinder recorded a career high-tying 9.85 on floor against TWU and a remarkable 9.8 on beam as a last-second fill-in for the injured Ashley Jackson at Missouri.

Hinkis, a native of Simsbury, Conn.,  finished in the top five on bars four times last season and scored a 9.825 on the apparatus against ISU in her first meet back.
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THE BEAM DREAM TEAM
Oklahoma posted a staggering 49.425 score on beam at the season-opening Cancun Classic. The  mark tied the second-highest score in program history and was the highest by an OU beam team since April 3, 2004.
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KINDLER SIGNS THREE FOR 2008
The Oklahoma women's gymnastics team posted its best finish in NCAA history last spring and recruits are taking notice. Head coach K.J. Kindler announced one of the most decorated classes in OU history during the early announcement period, signing three gymnasts to National Letters of Intent.  Megan Ferguson, Natasha Kelley and Sara Stone will join the Sooners in the fall of 2008.
 
Ferguson, a Level 10 from Blue Valley High School in Olathe, Kan., trains at Eagles Gymnastics, the former club of current OU gymnast Jacqueline Flanery.  Ferguson was two-time Junior Olympic Nationals beam champion and five-time J.O. Nationals qualifier. She has dominated state competition, winning the level 10 all-around title in 2005, `06 and `07 while sweeping every individual event honor all three seasons as well.

Kelley enters the OU program as a four-time U.S. National Team member.  The senior elite gymnast from Katy, Texas, has found success on both the international and national stage, finishing second in the all-around of the 2006 Visa Championships, after capturing the all-around title a year prior in the junior division of the Visa Championships. In her `06 Visa Championships runner-up finish, Kelley finished second on the uneven bars and beam, and fourth on the floor exercise.  Kelley shared all-around honors at the 2006 U.S. Classic, placing first on the uneven bars, second on vault and fourth on beam and floor. At the 2007 Visa Championships, Kelley finished 10th in the all-around after placing sixth on the beam and ninth on the uneven bars. On the International stage, Kelley won the all-around title at the 2007 Houston International Invitational, placing first on the beam, floor, uneven bars, and second on the vault.  The 17-year old placed second at the 2007 Tyson American Cup and fourth in the all-around of the `07 USA vs. Great Britain International Competition in Lisburn, Ireland. She also captured all-around titles at both the `05 Junior Gymnastics Competition in Yohohama, Japan, and the Olympiad Elite in Ensenada, Mexico, a year prior.  Kelley helped the U.S. squad to a silver medal at the 2006 World Championships as a finalist on floor.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Stone is a member of Metroplex Gymnastics where she is coached by Bryan Streeter, Dave Marus, and Jana and Marcus Harlin.  The Spring Creek Academy senior and junior elite gymnast is a two-time qualifier for the U.S. Classic. She won the all-around title at the 2005 Metroplex Challenge and won the beam title at the 2006 level 10 Texas state competition.
 


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