Jan. 4, 2008
CANCUN, Mexico -- The No. 8 OU women's gymnastics team rang in the new year in style with a season-opening win Friday night over Iowa, West Virginia and Wisconsin Whitewater at the Cancun Classic, held at the Hilton Golf and Beach Resort in Cancun, Mexico.
The Sooners swept all four event titles to best second-place Iowa 195.175 to 192.875. No. 22 West Virginia finished third with a team total of 192.125 while Wisconsin-Whitewater rounded out the competition at 181.550.
Senior All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms took home all-around honors after winning three-of-four individual event titles, highlighted by a career-best-tying 9.925 on the floor. Junior Ashley Jackson tied for third in the first all-around competition of her career.
"Anytime you come out with a victory it builds confidence for the rest of the season," said head coach K.J. Kindler. "At this point of the season, confidence is what they need and tonight's victory will benefit us as we move forward throughout the rest of our season."
Along with the colder-than-normal temperatures that have welcomed the Sooners during their stay in Cancun, OU took some time to heat up for the capacity crowd, finding themselves in second place after their 48.225 first rotation on vault.
The Sooners pulled away on the uneven bars, winning the title with a 48.750 mark, and never trailed again.
In all, the Sooners won three event titles outright (vault, bars, beam) and tied for top floor honors to complete the sweep.
Oklahoma swept the beam standings after a team total of 49.425, tying its highest score since April 3, 2004 and marking the second-best beam score in OU history. Junior Haley DeProspero stood atop the podium after tying her career best at 9.925. Senior All-American Stephanie LoPiccolo was second at 9.900. Sophomore Hollie Vise and Redmond-Sturms capped off the sweep with a pair of 9.875s to tie for third.
"Today is a day that you dream of as a beam coach," said Kindler. "I don't think we had one wobble and counted very little in deductions on landing. This is what they have trained for, know they are capable of and to come out and display it like we did tonight, you know we are going to have a great beam team this season."
Ending the night on floor, the Sooners finished with a 48.775 to clinch the win.
The Sooners next travel to Mount Pleasant, Mich., for a Jan. 11 showdown with Central Michigan. The meet with the Chippewas is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CST). Visit www.SoonerSports.com for the latest info on the OU women's gymnastics squad as they continue the 2008 season.