Women's Team Improves To No. 13 After First Week Of Competition

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JANUARY 17, 2001

Jan. 17, 2001

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Sooner Improvements
The women's team, ranked 21st in the preseason, improved to No. 13 after its first week of competition.

Oklahoma defeated Texas Woman's University, 194.025-189.300, Friday in Denton, Texas.

Sophomore Leticia Ishii claimed the all-around title with a score of 38.825 as well as victories on the uneven bars (9.000) and the floor exercise (9.825).

Freshman Kasie Tamayo are sophomore Leah Mueller started their careers off strong for Oklahoma. Tamayo claimed the balance beam with an impressive 9.925 while Mueller won the vault (9.825).

"I was very proud of our team's performance tonight coming less than two weeks back from the holidays," said OU Co-Head Coach Steve Nunno said after the meet. "We definitely left some room for improvement, though, and I believe, nationally, we opened some eyes with our results from tonight."

A California Weekend
The Sooners (1-0) head to the state of California for a pair of meets over the weekend.

On Friday at 7:30 p.m., OU faces San Jose State, Arizona and California in San Jose. Two days later, the Sooners take on California, Arizona and Utah State in Berkeley at 2 p.m.

OU Milestones
The women's victory over TWU Friday marked the debut of OU Co-Head Coach Steve Nunno. Also, the Sooners' final tally of 194.025 set a new OU record for highest score ever in a season-opening competition.

OU Men Ranked No. 3
The Oklahoma men's team, fielding what looks like a very powerful team, was selected third in the Collegiate Gymnastics Information Center's preseason poll.

Oklahoma finished fourth at the NCAA Championships last season and won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship for the second consecutive year.

This season, the Sooners return four All-Americans (seniors Brendan O'Neil and Steve Van Etten, junior David Johnston and sophomore Josh Landis) from last year's team.

In addition, the program brought in two gymnasts, Heath Mueller and Jock Stevens, who finished in the top ten at last year's 2000 Junior National Championships. Stevens and Mueller finished second and ninth, respectively.

Ready For Action
The Oklahoma men's gymnastics team will able to show their stuff for the first time this season when they travel to Colorado Springs, Colo. to participate in the Rocky Mountain Open Friday and Saturday.

The Open consists of four teams: OU, Nebraska, Air Force and Arizona State. Nebraska and Air Force were ranked seventh and 17th in the national preseason coaches' poll, respectively.

The Sooners finished second (to Nebraska) in last year's Rocky Mountain Open.

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 23 and 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.



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