March 27, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - After a highly successful regular season, the No. 9 Oklahoma women's gymnastics team (13-4) earned several Big 12 Conference honors. Steve Nunno was named Big 12 Co-Head Coach of the Year along with Missouri's Rob Drass, while senior Mariana Goncalves was named Big 12 Gymnast of the Year. This is the second time in as many years that Nunno has been awarded this honor.
Goncalves has been a consistent leader for the Sooners this season and enters the NCAA West Regional ranked No. 3 nationally in the all-around. She is also tied for No. 8 on the uneven bars and No. 6 on the vault. She has been named the Big 12 Gymnast of the Week four times this season and is ranked third in the league in the all-around. She recently posted her second-best all-around score of the season, a 39.500, to finish in third place at the Big 12 Championships.
With the help of Goncalves, Nunno led his team to a program-high No. 3 ranking and a 13-4 record in only his second season as a head coach. Last year he shared head coaching duties with veteran coach Becky Switzer. Nunno has coached as high as the Olympic level and was an OU assistant coach from 1983 to 1985.
The Sooners named four gymnasts to the Big 12 All-Conference team. Goncalves was an all-conference selection on the all-around, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. Sophomore Kasie Tamayo earned honors on the floor exercise along with senior Alison Mayberry and junior Patricia Aoki. The top four gymnasts in each event were named to the all-conference team.
Oklahoma will return to action on Saturday, April 6, in Corvallis, Oregon, at the NCAA West Regional at Oregon State. The Sooners will compete against No. 4 Utah, No. 13 Oregon State, No. 24 Southern Utah, Boise State and Washington. OU defeated both Southern Utah and Boise State this season, but will face the other three teams for the first time. Meet time is set for 8 p.m.