Nov. 11, 2009

 

NORMAN, Okla. - Head Coach K.J. Kindler and the back-to-back Big 12 Champion Oklahoma women's gymnastics squad announced the signing of three gymnasts to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.
 
All hailing from the Lone Star state, the trio of Lauren Alexander (Plano, Texas), Hope Bruce (Denton, Texas) and Taylor Spears (Plano, Texas) will cross the Red River to join the Sooners next fall.

When asked about her philosophy in targeting prospects for the 2010 recruiting class, Kindler responded, "our staff focused on ‘eye catching’ athletes, who had the ability to stop traffic with unique skills, technical execution and performance quality.  We focused on recruiting potential all-around athletes and these three have everything we were looking for.”

 2010 OU Women's Gymnastics Signing Class

Lauren Alexander  
Plano, Texas



Beam Clip

Hope
Bruce

Denton, Texas



Beam Clip
Taylor
Spears

Plano, Texas



Floor Clip

Lauren Alexander, a Level 10 gymnast out of Infinite Bounds, is coached by Cindy Dove and Todd Wayts.  The daughter of Paul and Lisa Alexander, Lauren is now at Metroplex Gymnastics (the same gym of current OU gymnast Sara Stone) in Allen, Texas, for her final year of training prior to joining the Sooners next fall.  At Metroplex, Alexander is under the tutelage of 1996 Olympic gold medalist Jaycie Phelps and Dave Marus.  Alexander recorded top-10 finishes on vault (second), beam (seventh) and floor (eighth) at the 2008 JO Nationals. 

“When I first saw Lauren compete balance beam, she was simply breathtaking,” said Kindler. “Her flexibility, paired with her strength, is exactly what you look for in a gymnast.”

The Region 3 champion on beam in 2008 and vault in 2007, Alexander finished 10th in the all-around at the 2007 JO Nationals after placing fifth on vault, sixth on beam and seventh on floor.  Additionally, Alexander was runner-up in the all-around and on beam at the ’07 Region 3 Championships.  The Plano Senior High product was also recruited by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn LSU, Missouri, Nebraska and Stanford.

Kindler on Lauren Alexander

“Lauren has the ability to contribute on all four events,” added Kindler.  “In addition to beam, she is a powerful vaulter and tumbler with huge potential on bars.  Lauren is not only going to impress on the competition floor but in the classroom as well.  She is a strong student who definitely pushes herself to excel in all areas of her life. ”


A Junior International Elite qualifier, Hope Bruce trains outs of the Denton Gymnastics Academy under Aurel and Rodica Lazar.  The homeschooled product finished sixth on vault at the 2008 Massillia Cup Invitational in Marseille, France, against national teams from Australia, Canada, China, France, Holland, Romania, Russia and the U.S.  Bruce placed eighth in the all-around and fourth on vault at the 2008 Level 10 JO Nationals and first on beam at the Level 9 Westerns. 

“Hope is a standout in every way,” said Kindler.  “She will amaze you with her nonchalant approach to the most difficult skills imaginable.  She shows poise and confidence beyond her years.  We see Hope contributing as an all-arounder for the Sooners and I wouldn’t hesitate to say that she is motivated to do just that.  She is aggressive and at the same time, elegant.”

The daughter of David and Valinda Bruce, Hope was also recruited by Georgia, LSU, Missouri and Utah.

 View the video clip of Hope signing her National Letter of Intent.

Kindler on Hope Bruce:

“Hope has had exceptional training and shows great leadership amongst the group of young elites she works out with daily,” added Kindler.  “She will truly be a treat for our Sooner fans to watch.”


Training as a Level 10 out of WOGA, the same gym of current Sooner Hollie Vise and recent Olympic all-around gold medalists Nastia Liukin and Carly Patterson, Taylor Spears is coached by Laurie Dix and Evgeny Marchenko. 

The Allen High School product placed eighth at the 2005 Voronin Cup in Moscow, Russia, a Junior International Elite event.  A two-time JO Nationals qualifier (2005 and 2009), Spears also qualified to the ’06 U.S. Classic.      

“Taylor commands your attention on bars, where she swings with ease and  boasts several difficult release moves,” said Kindler.  “This is where she originally caught our eye, but she is equally strong as an all-around athlete.  She will definitely be an asset on beam and floor for the Sooners, performing effortless skills and dance.”

The daughter of Mary Spears, Taylor was recruited by Alabama, Florida, LSU, UNC and Utah.

Kindler on Taylor Spears:

“Taylor is a strong individual who shows a high level of commitment,” added Kindler.  “When offered the opportunity to be a Sooner she was so thankful and excited that I thought she would jump through the phone.”

Recapping OU’s 2010 signing class, Kindler added “Taylor, Hope and Lauren provide an impressive resume with includes international competition, elite competition and national experience.  However, beyond their athletic resume is a group of truly excited and dedicated women who want to help Oklahoma reach the next level.  They had so many options and they chose OU.  We are so proud and honored to become their home away from home and we look forward to the next five years and beyond.”