Jan. 25, 2001

NORMAN, Okla.M -- The University of Oklahoma men's and women's gymnastics teams are both ranked in the top ten for the first time since March 21, 2000, when the men were second and the women were tenth.

After last weekend's impressive first-place finish at the Rocky Mountain Open in Colorado Springs, Colo., the men's squad maintained its preseason ranking of third. The Sooners (3-0) won by a convincing score of 209.750, well ahead of preseason's No. 7 Nebraska (200.050), No. 14 Air Force (194.100) and Arizona State (189.100). OU swept every team and individual event and showed balance with six individual champions.

"I'm extremely excited for our gymnastics program," said Oklahoma Men's Head Coach Mark Williams. "They're starting to live up to the success of the past programs. We are tremendously excited with some of the things that have happened to the teams including the addition of Steve Nunno and the upgrading of our facilities. This has produced a great environment and shows that we rank up there with any program in the country, men or women."

The women continued its climb up the national poll after its impressive 5-1 California weekend that included a second-place finish Friday in San Jose and a victory Sunday in Berkeley. The women (6-1) were selected 21st in the preseason poll before moving up to thirteenth last week and a current ranking of tenth this week.

"It's great for both programs, of course," said Oklahoma Women's Co-head coach Steve Nunno. "It's important to be on top and hopefully this kind of success can generate great publicity. On the women's side, the way we've performed in January (setting several school records), it has provided us with a good base as the season develops."

The men compete in their season home opener Saturday against Air Force at 7 p.m. The meet will take place at Bart Conner's Gymnastics Academy, located on Interstate Drive, north of Robinson Road. The women hit the road again to take on Texas Woman's University Saturday at 7 p.m. in Denton. The Sooners and TWU have already met once this season on Jan. 12, in Denton, with OU prevailing, 194.025-189.300.