March 14, 2001
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The OU women's team and Texas Woman's University are definitely no strangers to each other, getting ready to compete for the fourth time this season.
Oklahoma has defeated TWU three times this season, twice in Denton, Texas, and once at the University of Missouri's Corvette Cup.
The Pioneers were last year's Gymnastics Collegiate National Champions, an award won from a national competition for both Division II schools and non-varsity programs, and enter this Friday's meet 6-13 on the season. They're currently No. 3 in the USAG Collegiate Rankings and are led by Sarah Lumpkin (second-ranked nationally on vault) and Luci Romberg, No. 2 in the all-around.
OU leads the all-time series, 38-3.
The men's team will have two weeks to prepare for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, which take place March 23 and 24 in Berkeley, Calif.
The Sooners are the defending MPSF Champions, winning last year in Colorado Springs, Coloardo.
Men's Facts & Figures
Oklahoma continues its dominace on the floor exercise with four gymnasts in the top seven and, as a team, is the nation's top-ranked with a 1.100 margin over No. 2 Minnesota.
The Sooners, along with Ohio State and Michigan, are the only teams to be ranked nationally in the top seven in all six exercises.
OU Sets National Season Mark
"Right now, I think we're the team to beat."
Those were the words uttered by OU Head Coach Mark Williams after his team scored a 217.300 Saturday in a victory over fourth-ranked Ohio State (215.400) and No. 12 Stanford (206.750), the highest point total for a men's team this season.
OU (12-1) was led by three individual winners: seniors Brendan O'Neil (floor exercise) and Steve Van Etten (pommel horse) and sophomore Brett Covey (still rings).
Covey continued his brilliance on the still rings, claiming his fifth consecutive title, and as a team the Sooners proved their No. 1 ranking on the floor exercise, taking the top four spots.
Sooners Upset Ohio State
The women's team won its second home meet in as many tries last Saturday at the Lloyd Noble Center when it upset then-No. 13 Ohio State, 196.900-195.250.
OU was led by junior Mariana Goncalves, who tied for first (with freshman Kasie Tamayo) in the all-around (39.350) and took top spot on the balance beam (9.900). Both gymnasts claimed their second all-around titles for 2001.
Sophomore Leah Mueller garnered first place on the vault (9.925), her seventh vault title on the season, and sophomore Patricia Aoki won her fourth floor exercise (9.925) on the year.
Oklahoma was stellar as a team, winning three of the four events and taking the top three spots on the balance beam, floor exercise and the all-around.
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.