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OU Gymnastics Preps for NCAAs
April 15, 2009
 Oklahoma Preps for NCAA Championships
 Date & Time  April 16-18 - 1 p.m. (OU's Thursday preliminary session)
 Location  Lincoln, Neb. | Bob Devaney Center
 Tickets  Nebraska Ticket Office | 1-800-8BIGRED
 NCAA Site

 NCAA Official Site

 Live Scoring  Live Scoring
 Directions  Campus Directory
 Meet Central  Meet Host - Nebraska
 Meet Info  Meet Notes (PDF) Sooners

PREVIEWING THE MEET

LINCOLN, Neb.  - The OU women's gymnastics squad travels to Lincoln, Neb., for the NCAA Championships on April 16-18.  Competing in Thursday's afternoon preliminary session at 1 p.m. (CT), the eighth-seeded Sooners seek a top-three finish in order to earn their first Super Six berth in program history. 

OU is making its sixth consecutive NCAA Championships appearance after placing second at the NCAA Northeast Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on April 4.  The Sooners regional score of 196.600 was its highest team tally at a regional since winning the 2004 NCAA West Regional in Corvallis, Ore., with a team result of 197.100.

Oklahoma's session features four teams that advanced to the Super Six at the 2008 NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., including the University of Georgia - winner of the last four national titles.  Florida, Stanford and UCLA also advanced to the team finals last season, while Penn State rounds out the session.  The Sooners have placed a program-best eighth at the last two NCAA Championships in 2007 and 2008. 

The Sooners are one of just six teams to advance to the NCAA Championships every year since 2004, joining Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Utah.

Complete coverage of the meet will be available at www.Huskers.com, the official website of NCAA Championships host Nebraska.  Following the meet, a recap, photos and official scores will be posted to www.SoonerSports.com, the official home of OU women's gymnastics.

The championships, hosted by the University of Nebraska, will be held at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, April 16-18.  Tickets can be purchased at www.huskers.com or by phone at 1-800-8BIGRED. 

The Super Six Team Finals will be broadcasted by CBS and will air tape delayed at 1 p.m. (CT) on May 9, with Tim Brando and Amanda Borden announcing.    

 
 Sooner to Watch 

Megan Ferguson | Fr. | BB - UB
 
The Olathe, Kan., native became the first freshman in Big 12 history to win multiple event titles at the conference championship.

A winner on bars and beam, Ferguson is only the second Sooner gymnast to claim a Big 12 crown in her freshman campaign, joining Ashley Cooney who won the vault title in 2004.   The OU pair account for three of the seven event wins by a Big 12 freshman at the conference championships.     
 

   

MEET INFO
Complete coverage of the meet will be available at www.Huskers.com, the official website of NCAA Championships host Nebraska.  Following the meet, a recap, photos and official scores will be posted to www.SoonerSports.com, the official home of OU women's gymnastics. 

DOMINATING THE BIG 12
Oklahoma has reeled off a 17-2 mark against conference opponents since the start of the 2007 schedule.  Winner of the last two Big 12 titles, the Sooners are the only conference squad to advance to the NCAA Championships each of the last two seasons. 

While Oklahoma has been in the NCAA Championships field every year since 2004, the other Big 12 squads have a combined six appearances during that timespan.

SCOUTING THE FIRST SESSION                                                                                                                   
OU's session features four teams that advanced to the Super Six at the 2008 NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., including the University of Georgia - winner of the last four national titles.  Florida, Stanford and UCLA also advanced to the team finals last season, while Penn State rounds out the session.

SOLID REGIONAL PERFORMANCE                                                                                                                  
OU's regional score of 196.600 was its highest team tally at a regional since winning the 2004 NCAA West Regional in Corvallis, Ore., with a team result of 197.100.

Oklahoma won the regional event title on vault (49.175), spurred on by Melanie Root's event-title sharing 9.9, while the Sooners shared floor honors with Alabama after a season-best-tying 49.325.

JUST SHY OF THE SUPER SIX                                                                                                                   
OU has posted program-best eighth place finishes at the last two NCAA Championships, standing fourth in each of the preliminary sessions, just one spot away from a berth in the Super Six Team Finals.

Oklahoma's eight NCAA Championships appearances without a spot in the Super Six is tied with BYU for the
second-most spots in the final event without advancing past preliminary competition.  Arizona has made 10 NCAA Championships appearances without advancing.

ON TOP OF THEIR GAME
The Sooners have three gymnasts that have posted at least 12 routines of 9.85 or higher in 2009, led by Ashley Jackson's 17.  Freshman Megan Ferguson has burst onto the collegiate scene with 16 at a 9.85 or better clip, while Hollie Vise has posted 13 routines at 9.85 or better, despite only specializing on bars and beam.  Ferguson pushed her tally to 16 with a pair of 9.85s at the NCAA Northeast Regional, while Jackson hit the mark on vault and floor in Tuscaloosa.  

• FINDING SUCCESS IN COLEMAN COLISEUM                           
Sara Stone posted a career-high 9.85 on floor in Alabama's Northeast Regional just three weeks after scoring a 9.825 on the event in OU's regular season meet in Tuscaloosa against the Crimson Tide.  Teammate Melanie Root also found success in Coleman Coliseum for the second straight meet, posting an event-winning 9.9 on vault at the Northeast Regional (including a 9.95 from one judge), tying her career high from OU's regular season meeting at Alabama.

Stone has not scored lower than a 9.8 on vault all season, including a season-high 9.9 against TWU and Illinois State.  The freshman closed out the season with a No. 3 Big 12 RQS of 9.86 on vault - the highest tally of any conference newcomer and tied with Root.

• NOT ACTING LIKE NEWCOMERS                                                                                                            
Of the 87 routines that have been competed by gymnasts making their first collegiate appearance on the respective apparatus in 2009, a remarkable 52 (.598) have gone for a 9.8 or better.  Freshmen Megan Ferguson and Sara Stone had four of the group's five routines of 9.8 or greater at the NCAA Northeast Regional. 

Ferguson has tallied 21 routines at 9.8 or higher, while fellow frosh Sara Stone leads the respective group with an average of .737 at 9.8 or higher ( 14-of-19).    

• ROAD SWEET ROAD                                                                                                                            
Posting a then-NCAA-best 197.175 in Denton, Texas, on Jan. 17, and a 196.800 at Iowa State on Feb. 27, the road has been kind to the Sooners again this season.  Five of OU's top seven scores have been away from Norman in 2009, a year after five of Oklahoma's top seven scores (including three of the top four and a season-best-tying 196.750 at Arkansas) come on the road.  Oklahoma is the only squad in the top 10 to have both of its top two season scores come in road competition.

• FLOOR SENSATION                                                                                                                                   
Kristin Smith posted her latest 9.9 on floor at the Big 12 Championships, marking the fourth time this season (third consecutive) that the Oklahoma City, Okla., junior has tied her career high on the apparatus.  Entering the year with a personal best of 9.85 on the event, Smith has won three event crowns on the apparatus this season (@ Denver, @ ISU, TWU/ISU). 

Roster | Schedule | Notes

• SITTING AT THE TOP                                                                                                                    
Oklahoma won the vault title despite entering the contest ranked six spots lower than top-seeded Alabama in the RQS rankings on the apparatus, while the OU floor lineup in the Northeast Regional did not post a score lower than 9.8 (no counted routine lower than 9.85) en route to a season-best-tying 49.325. 

The Sooners closed with three straight 9.875s from Jackie Flanery, Ashley Jackson and Kristin Smith for a share of the event title with No. 3 Alabama, who entered the night ranked fourth in the NCAA on the apparatus (OU was ranked seventh).

FINDING HER GROOVE
Ashley Jackson shared fourth in the all-around at the Northeast Regional, posting a score of 39.350 - her highest tally since a 39.375 at Nebraska on Feb. 8.

FRESHMEN PHENOMS                                                                 
OU's Megan Ferguson and Sara Stone have either led the Sooners outright or tied for the team event high on 10 occasions this season.  Ferguson paced the Sooners on bars against Florida (9.85), tied for the beam crown against TWU (9.925), shared top beam honors for the Sooners against Minnesota (9.875), led the Sooners on bars (9.85) in the quad meet and at Alabama (9.9) and earned a share of a pair of titles at the Big 12 Championships. Stone's 9.85 on vault at Denver shared the event title.  Stone also posted a team-high 9.875 against Arkansas, a week after sharing vault honors with Ashley Jackson at TWU. 

Ferguson, the Big 12 bars co-champion, posted a 9.85 on bars at the Northeast Regional marking the fifth time in six routines that the freshman has scored at least a 9.85 on the apparatus.  The Olathe, Kan., native has tallied a 9.8 or higher in 12 of 13 bars routines this season.

The duo's career highs on vault (Stone - 9.9), bars (Ferguson - 9.9) and beam (Ferguson - 9.925) lead all other Big 12 freshmen.

A BANNER YEAR FOR VISE                                        
Hollie Vise tied for second on bars at the Northeast regional, posting a career-high-tying 9.9 that included a 9.95 from one member of the judging panel.  It marked Vise's 13th routine of the season of 9.85 or higher, third-best on the team, despite specializing only on bars and beam.

ANOTHER SPECTACULAR SEASON                       
OU (18-5) needs two wins to reach the 20-win plateau for the third consecutive season, every year of K.J. Kindler's tenure.  Oklahoma's victory over North Carolina in its tri-meet at Alabama on March 13, was the 400th in program history.  The Sooners now hold an all-time record of 408-200-1.

SHARING THE WEALTH                       
Oklahoma has seven gymnasts with at least four individual event titles in 2009, as Ashley Jackson leads the way with 10.  The Sooners are the only squad ranked in the latest top-15 GymInfo poll without a gymnast in the top-25 all-around rankings. 

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