March 18, 2008
IRVING, Texas - Leading the undefeated University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics squad to a thrilling come-from-behind victory at No. 11 Arkansas last Saturday, Sooner gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Kristin Smith were honored as Co-Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced Tuesday.
Cruising to her Big 12-leading ninth all-around title in just 11 events, Redmond-Sturms won her fourth consecutive floor title (9.95) against Arkansas while sharing the bars event title with teammate Hollie Vise (9.875). The Los Angeles, Calif., native has won 36 individual titles on the year (including all-around), which also leads the conference. Posting an all-around score of 39.575 against the Gym'Backs, the five-time All-American has registered the three highest point totals in the conference this season.
Redmond-Sturms shares this week's award with Nebraska's Emily Parsons who won four event titles on Senior Night, including the all-around after a season high-tying 39.525 against Iowa State.
Sophomore Kristin Smith posted the highest beam score in the conference last weekend, a career-high 9.925, en route to her first collegiate event title. The score marked the first time that the Oklahoma City, Okla., native had surpassed the 9.900 plateau. Also scoring a career-best-tying 9.85 on floor, Smith helped guide Oklahoma to its 30th regular season win in the last 31 outings.
It was the sixth time this season that Redmond-Sturms had been awarded Gymnast of the Week honors and the seventh time in her OU career that she garnered a weekly award. The conference award was the first for Smith.
The announcement marked the fifth time this season that Oklahoma has won both conference awards during the same week as the Sooners have had the last two Gymnast of the Week honorees and five of the last six Event Specialists.
Moving to ninth in the latest GymInfo poll, the Sooners hold top-13 event rankings across the board, highlighted by a fourth-place standing on the floor exercise. The top-ranked squad in both the Big 12 Conference and South Central Regional, OU is led by Redmond-Sturms' second-place standing in the NCAA all-around category.
Attempting to close the regular season with an unblemished 18-0 record, the Sooners travel to Minneapolis, Minn., on Saturday to take on the 25th-ranked Golden Gophers.
Oklahoma and Michigan are the only two squad's in the latest GymInfo top-25 poll with an unblemished record during the 2008 season. While OU closes at Minnesota, Michigan hosts No. 3 Utah in Ann Arbor, Mich., during the Wolverines final regular season contest.
The Sooners host both the Big 12 Championship (March 29) and NCAA South Central Regional (April 12) at the Lloyd Noble Center. For tickets, please call (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU or stop by the OU Athletics Ticket Office, located on the plaza level of the Asp Avenue Parking Facility, immediately West of the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the event at the Lloyd Noble Center box office.