Just like the revamped SoonerSports.com, Inside Glimpse, which chronicles the happenings of the Oklahoma women's gymnastics program through the eyes of assistant coach Nilson Savage, is back with a new look. Savage's Inside Glimpse, which has been a regular feature on OU's athletics website for the last year, focuses on news and issues that the sporting public does not usually have access to.
Inside Glimpse No. 8
Sept. 9, 2003
The 100-degree weather is over, the football season is on its way and our athletes are already studying for their first quizzes. It seems like just the other day when we were getting ready to start visiting our prospectstudent athletes and all of a sudden here they are on their official trips. Well, it's that time of the year again. School is back and the busy schedule is upon us.
We gave our gym a makeover this past summer. There are still some finishing touches to be done but overall it has been completed and looks great.
Our team came back from their summer vacation looking better than ever. Some of our upper-class girls stayed over the summer to get ahead academically by attending intersession classes and improving their GPA. Our team average was 3.14 last semester and our goal is to be the best overall athletic team by the end of this semester.
We just finished our first week of voluntary practices last Sunday. We went through a lot of testing with our strength coach, Monica Wolf, and the girls are in fairly good shape after the Summer break. In the gym, we have been trying to get everybody back in the swing of things and concentrating on the basics. We graduated three of our athletes last year, Mariana Goncalves, Leticia Ishii and Leah Mueller.
Mueller apparently didn't get enough out of her three years of competition and is back for more after having to red shirt her first year. Mueller is back to lead this team to another trip to the NCAA National Championships. She sat out a majority of last year's competition because of a knee injury, although she was able to rehab and compete most of the season on bars. She went through some grueling rehab this summer after her surgery and appears ready to fight for her spot on this team. She has not been released from the doctors train on vault or floor yet but I guarantee she will be training hard on bars.
Ishii got accepted in Physical Therapy school here at OU and she is working as a student assistant with the program.
Goncalves is waiting for her visa to be issued and is applying and interviewing for jobs all over the country.
Patricia Aoki exhausted her athletic eligibility this past year but she decided to take over for Goncalves as a student manager for our program. Christina Gerard had her best year ever in her senior year after transferring from George Washington University. Gerard will graduate in May from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Civil Engineering. Congratulations and good luck to all of them.
As for the remainder of our team, Kasie Tamayo is a strong senior that will lead us and she has been very beneficial to our program in the past. Tamayo along with fellow senior Karina Agafonova, will help set an
example to our 2003-2004 team by showing the underclassmen the meaning of dedication and hard work.
Following in their footsteps are juniors Erin LaBarr and Nicole Gause who are ready to show that they want to compete in the all around as well. Our returning sophomores Melissa Smith, Tara Anderson, Katie Hostler, and Kristen Cox are ready to contribute after a year of competition under their belts and realizing what it takes to make this team's line up on more than two events.
Finally, our freshmen class consists of strength and grace with the addition of Tiffany Willin and Brittney Koncak. Willin is a native of Fort Myers, FL., and was the regional gymnastics champion in 2003 in one of the toughest regions in the nation. In her prep career, she won national titles on the vault in 2001 and 2002. Koncak is a native of San Antonio, TX., and over the past seven years has been a member of the USA national team. She is probably one of the most experienced freshmen in her class and definitely the best recruit for the University of Oklahoma since legendary Kelly Garrison.
Elizabeth Tandy (previously an elite) and Jillian Tinsley (previously a L10) have decided to walk-on on to our team and continue their gymnastics career through college. They show great potential in making the line up in a couple of events for us. We are looking forward to an exciting and fun pre-season with this group of athletes.
Our next release will be Sept., 14, 2004. GO SOONERS!!
Assistant Gymnastics Coach
University of Oklahoma