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OU Hosts 2008 Big 12 Championship
March 27, 2008

March 27, 2008

 2008 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
 Date  Saturday, March 29 at 7 p.m. CT
 Location  Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center
 Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office
 Online  Live Scoring | Live Webcast: All-Access
 Meet Info  2008 Big 12 Championship

NORMAN, Okla. - The No. 9 OU women's gymnastics squad returns to the friendly confines of the Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday at 7 p.m. as the Sooners host the Big 12 Championship for the fourth time in school history. 

OU coasted through the regular season, becoming the lone NCAA squad without a loss (18-0), and is seeking its second Big 12 title (`04).   

Five-time senior All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms leads the Sooners into the championship after garnering a spot on the 2008 All-Big 12 Team in all four events, the only conference gymnast to do so.    

Iowa State, Missouri and Nebraska travel to Norman in hopes of taking home the 2008 Big 12 Championship title. Defending champion Nebraska has claimed a conference-leading eight crowns (1997-99, 2001-03, `05, `07)  while Iowa State's two titles (`00, '06) make up the other wins in the 11-year history of the Big 12. 

The Cornhuskers enter the meet as the highest ranked opponent at No. 14 and are led by 2006 Co-Gymnast of the Year Emily Parsons who took home four titles at last year's Big 12 Championship in Columbia, Mo.   

Missouri comes to Norman ranked No. 18 in the lastest GymInfo poll behind the strong performances of all-arounder Adrianne Perry.  The former Big 12 Newcomer of the Year has six all-around titles on the year, including a win in the matchup with Oklahoma in Columbia, Mo., earlier this season.

 Media Guide | Meet Notes | FSN Television Times

Led by sophomore Nikki Dilbert's five event wins in 2008, the Cyclones are ranked No. 32 in the nation.   Dilbert has found success inside the Lloyd Noble Center already this season, posting career high's on vault (9.875) and beam (9.825) in the ISU loss to the Sooners on Feb. 15.

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CONFERENCE ALL-STARS
OU claimed a conference-leading nine spots on the 2008 Gymnastics All-Big 12 Team, the conference office announced on March 26.  The Big 12 Conference awarded the top four Big 12 gymnasts with the highest regional qualifying score (RQS) in each event, excluding the all-around.

Leading the way for OU was five-time senior All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms who earned a spot on vault, uneven bars, beam and floor exercise.  The Los Angeles, Calif., native was the only Big 12 gymnast to garner four accolades.

Teammate Hollie Vise was also a multiple winner, clinching a spot on both uneven bars and beam.Leading the Big 12 on beam (9.895), junior Haley DeProspeo was named to the beam team while Jackie Flanery and Ashley Jackson were honored for their efforts on floor.
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HITTING THE BOOKS
Six University of Oklahoma student-athletes have been named to the 2008 Academic All-Big 12 Gymnastics Team, including four first-team members, the conference announced on March 25.

Garnering first-team accolades were Haley DeProspero (zoology), Caitlin Hinkis (psychology), Jessica Kinder (health and exercise science) and Ashley Jackson (zoology).  The second team included Jackie Flanery and Mary Mantle, both human relations majors.

DeProspero and Hinkis made the list for the second consecutive year as the two were both awarded first-team honors last season. The announcement also marks the second consecutive year Jackson has garnered the award as the Hudsonville, Mich., native was a second-team member in 2007. 
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ONE MORE TIME FOR GOOD MEASURE
Sooner gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Haley DeProspero were honored as Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced on March 25.

The announcement marked the final weekly conference awards of the 2008 regular season, and OU gymnasts have garnered 15 of the 22 awards including Big 12 Gymnast of the Week honors in eight of a possible 11 weeks.  

The announcement marked the sixth time this season that Oklahoma has won both conference awards during the same week.

Redmond-Sturms claimed a share of all four event titles at Minnesota en route to the all-around title while DeProspero played a pivotal role in the Sooners' 18th-straight win with her 9.9 on beam after Oklahoma had already recorded two falls on the apparatus.  Entering the meet ranked fourth in the country (first in the Big 12) on the event, the junior took home a share of the beam title with Redmond-Sturms.  It was the eighth event title this season for the McKinney, Texas, native who also finished fourth on floor against the Golden Gophers (9.825).
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RECORD BREAKER
Five-time All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms garnered her seventh Big 12 Gymnast of the Week honor on March 25, setting a conference high for single season weekly accolades.  She broke the record of NU's Richelle Simpson who garnered six GOTW honors as a junior in 2003. 
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CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'
Through 12 events in 2008, Los Angeles, Calif., native Kiara Redmond-Sturms is having the kind of season any gymnast would dream about.  The five-time All-American won her 10th all-around title against Minnesota on March 22. Redmond-Sturms scored a 39.55 in the all-around against the Golden Gophers, her fourth-best score of the year but a mark that still outpaced all other season highs for Big 12 all-arounder competitors.  The senior has netted a Big 12-leading 41 individual titles in 2008, outpacing all conference gymnasts by at least 13.
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NATIONALLY KNOWN NAMES
Individually, Redmond-Sturms holds the second spot in the country in the all-around rankings with an RQS average of 39.555, besting all conference opponents.   Redmond-Sturms (9.935 - second) and Haley DeProspero (9.895 - fourth) both hold top-five rankings on floor and balance beam, respectively.

On floor, Jackie Flanery stands 24th in the country, teaming up with Redmond-Sturms (second) as the duo are both ranked in the top 25 in the event.

Rounding out the top-25 rankings for Oklahoma is Redmond-Sturms' ninth-place standing on bars (9.890), 10th-place standing on vault (9.905) and 19th-place showing on beam (9.870).
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REMAINING NINTH
Oklahoma remained ninth in the latest GymInfo poll (the highest of any Big 12 squad) with a Regional Qualifying Score of 196.450.  The RQS is based on a team's six best regular-season-meet scores, of which three must be away. To obtain the RQS, the high score is eliminated and the remaining five scores are averaged.
 
Oklahoma holds top-12 event standings across the board, highlighted by a No. 4 ranking on the floor exercise (49.315).
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REGULAR SEASON SENSATIONS
OU has won 31 of its last 32 regular-season matchup's dating back to Jan. 19, 2007.  Winners of all regular season meets on the year, the Sooners last regular season defeat was to Stanford on March 9, 2007 in Palo Alto, Calif.
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TUESDAY'S THE NEWS DAY
Another Tuesday has come and gone, as OU added an additional two conference awards to its season stockpile.  Kiara Redmond-Sturms was named Co-Big 12 Gymnast of the Week on March 18th as teammate Kristin Smith picked up OU's fifth Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week honor in the past six announcements.  The conference award was the first for Smith.  
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DOMINATING THE COMPETITION
The Sooners haven't been overly kind to their opponents this season. Through 12 events, Oklahoma has either won the event outright or shared title honors in 40 of a possible 48 event competitions. 
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PERFECTION
Posting an unblemished 18-0 record during the regular season, OU became the only school in the NCAA this year with an undefeated regular season.  The Sooners were dominant throughout, with Arkansas being the only team to come within 0.2 of a point of OU, falling 196.750 -196.625 to the Sooners in Fayetteville, Ark., on March 15.
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PROTECTING THE HOUSE
Winners of all four home events in 2008, the Sooners last lost in Norman on Feb. 10, 2006, a span of 11 consecutive match ups.  Ironically, OU's last home defeat came at the hands of an Iowa State team that was coached by K.J. Kindler - OU's current head coach.
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AN EXTRA SPECIAL BIRTHDAY
OU gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Melanie Root had an extra reason to celebrate OU's victory over Arkansas as the pair celebrated birthdays on the weekend as well.   Redmond-Sturms took home the all-around title against the Gym'Backs in posting the third highest score in the Big 12 this season (she owns the top four high marks), while Root posted a career-high 9.825 on vault in her first action on the apparatus in two months.
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HIGH MARKS FOR EVERYONE
Not to be outdone by Arkansas' program-best 196.625 in the loss to OU, several Sooner gymnasts set personal bests as well. Kristin Smith won the first event title of her Oklahoma career after a career-high 9.925 on beam, after tying a personal best with a 9.85 on floor.  Jackie Flanery also notched a career high on floor with her 9.9 effort.  Redmond-Sturms tied a career high on beam with a score of 9.9 and Melanie Root posted a 9.825 on vault, marking a career best for the freshman.  Last but not least, Mary Mantle set a personal best with her 9.8 on bars while Hollie Vise's 9.9 on beam tied a career high.
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ROAD WARRIORS
Three of Oklahoma's top four scores in 2008, including a season-best-tying 196.750 at Arkansas, have come on the road for the Sooners. Going further, five of OU's top seven scores in 2008 have come outside of Norman.
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LIKE CLOCKWORK...
After leading the undefeated OU women's gymnastics squad (16-0) to a victory over No. 11 Auburn on March 7, Sooner gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Jackie Flanery were honored as Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced on March 11.
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BRING OUT THE BROOMS
OU swept all four event titles against Auburn, claiming the top spot in the individual standings on every apparatus as well.  It marked the second straight meet the Sooners had accomplished the feat, doing so against TWU as well.
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VISE AND COMPANY NAMED TO USAG HALL OF FAME
University of Oklahoma sophomore gymnast Hollie Vise was named to the 2008 class of inductees for the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame as part of the 2003 U.S. Women's World Championships Team, announced by the organization on March 4.

The 2003 World Champion on bars, Vise was a member of the `03 squad that claimed the USA's first world team title.

An International Elite gymnast since the age of 11, Vise was a two-time National Champion on bars and balance beam and won a silver medal in the all-around at the same competition on three occasions.

A member of the U.S. National Team for six years, the Dallas, Texas, native won two bronze medals at the 2001 Goodwill Games in Australia.
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VISE GARNERS EVENT SPECIALIST OF THE WEEK HONORS
The Dallas, Texas, native capped off an already exciting afternoon, in which she was named the USAG Hall of Fame, by winning Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week honors for her performance against TWU. 

The selection marked the third time this season that the conference has named Vise the recipient of the award.

The Dallas, Texas, native played a vital role in the No. 10 Sooners remaining undefeated on the year (15-0), winning the bars title with a career-high-tying score of 9.875 and a share of the beam title with all-around winner and teammate Kiara Redmond-Sturms (9.825).  The two event honors marked the second time this season that Vise has won multiple titles during a single meet.

Her score of 9.875 on bars bested all conference gymnasts on the week but one, which she tied. Vise was the only Big 12 event specialist competing in multiple events that scored a 9.8 or higher on every apparatus.
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CONTINUED CONFERENCE DOMINATION
University of Oklahoma senior All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms and sophomore Hollie Vise were honored as Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced on Feb. 19.
 
An OU athlete garnered gymnast of the week honors for five consecutive weeks. 

Hitting the perfect mark, Redmond-Sturms became the first woman in OU gymnastics history to post two perfect 10.00s in a career.  It was only the ninth 10.00 in school history and just the second perfect score in the NCAA this season.  The Los Angeles, Calif., native has garnered six all-around titles and 19 event honors already this season.

Vise picked up her second conference accolade of the year after the 2003 World Champion won her first collegiate bars title with a career-high 9.875, while tying Haley DeProspero for the event title on beam (9.875).  Her two event titles were the most for the Dallas, Texas, native in any single competition of her career.
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MARY'S MILESTONE
Mary Mantle, a sophomore, won the first event title of her career after she posted a 9.9 on vault in Denver, Colo., on February 9, garnering her first Big 12 conference award.  The stuck routine was witnessed by 2,195 fans inside Hamilton Gymnasium, including many that were rooting on the Bellvue, Colo., native, after making the short drive to Denver.  Mantle was making her first appearance in a collegiate competition in her home state.
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WEEKLY CONFERENCE HONORS... AGAIN
After leading the OU women's gymnastics squad to its quad meet win over Denver, Utah State and Air Force, Sooner gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Mary Mantle were honored as Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week.
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HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
Returning to her home state of Michigan for the first time in collegiate competition, Ashley Jackson recorded a 9.775 on vault, 9.875 on floor and a career-high 9.75 on bars.
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RACKING UP THE CONFERENCE HONORS
Fresh off her first career all-around title that propelled OU to a 195.275-194.950 victory over conference rival Nebraska, OU junior Ashley Jackson was named the Big 12 Gymnast of the Week by the league on Feb. 5. The Big 12 honor was the first for the Hudsonville, Mich., native.

Competing in every event for just the fourth time in her career, Jackson posted career highs in the all-around (39.275) and on floor (9.9) against the Cornhuskers, while also matching a career best on bars (9.825). Jackson started the night off right by setting a season high on vault (9.825) in OU's first rotation, unveiling a new vault for the first time.

In all, Jackson recorded three top-three finishes (vault, bars and floor) in her career night.
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NEW YEAR, SAME RESULTS
Following her all-around title against West Virginia that propelled OU to its highest score of the 2008 season, gymnast Kiara Redmond-Sturms was named co-Big 12 Gymnast of the Week by the league, sharing the honor with Nebraska's Emily Parsons.

Champion on vault (9.875), bars (9.9) and floor (9.925), Redmond-Sturms finished second on beam to teammate Hollie Vise in the only event she didn't win.
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AMONG THE BIG 12'S BEST
Leading OU in its win over TWU, Sooner gymnasts Kiara Redmond-Sturms and Hollie Vise were honored as Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced Jan. 23.

Redmond-Sturms won her third all-around title of the season with a career-high 39.65, the second-highest mark in OU women's gymnastics history. Highlighted by a career-high 9.95 in the win on the floor exercise, the Los Angeles, Calif., native also earned event titles on bars and vault against the Pioneers.

Capped off by career high's in both events, Vise finished second on beam (9.9) to teammate Redmond-Sturms and third on the uneven bars (9.825) against TWU to earn her first weekly honor. The Dallas, Texas, native's 9.9 on beam tied for the highest non-OU beam score this season in the Big 12.
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REST AND RELAXATION
With the promising starts of Ratcliff, the Sooners were able to rest senior Caitlin Hinkis and junior Jessica Kinder, who both were recovering from injuries. Now back in competition, the two add a mature presence to numerous event line-up's for the Sooners. In her first meet back, Kinder recorded a career high-tying 9.85 on floor against TWU and a remarkable 9.8 on beam as a last-second fill-in for the injured Ashley Jackson at Missouri.

Hinkis, a native of Simsbury, Conn.,  finished in the top five on bars four times last season and has scored a 9.8 or higher in four out of six 2008 events.
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THE BEAM DREAM TEAM
Oklahoma posted a staggering 49.425 score on beam at the season-opening Cancun Classic. The  mark tied the second-highest score in program history and was the highest by an OU beam team since April 3, 2004.
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KINDLER SIGNS THREE FOR 2008
The Oklahoma women's gymnastics team posted its best finish in NCAA history last spring and recruits are taking notice. Head coach K.J. Kindler announced one of the most decorated classes in OU history during the early announcement period, signing three gymnasts to National Letters of Intent.  Megan Ferguson, Natasha Kelley and Sara Stone will join the Sooners in the fall of 2008.
 
Ferguson, a Level 10 from Blue Valley High School in Olathe, Kan., trains at Eagles Gymnastics, the former club of current OU gymnast Jacqueline Flanery.  Ferguson was two-time Junior Olympic Nationals beam champion and five-time J.O. Nationals qualifier. She has dominated state competition, winning the level 10 all-around title in 2005, `06 and `07 while sweeping every individual event honor all three seasons as well.

Kelley enters the OU program as a four-time U.S. National Team member.  The senior elite gymnast from Katy, Texas, has found success on both the international and national stage, finishing second in the all-around of the 2006 Visa Championships, after capturing the all-around title a year prior in the junior division of the Visa Championships. In her `06 Visa Championships runner-up finish, Kelley finished second on the uneven bars and beam, and fourth on the floor exercise.  Kelley shared all-around honors at the 2006 U.S. Classic, placing first on the uneven bars, second on vault and fourth on beam and floor. At the 2007 Visa Championships, Kelley finished 10th in the all-around after placing sixth on the beam and ninth on the uneven bars. On the International stage, Kelley won the all-around title at the 2007 Houston International Invitational, placing first on the beam, floor, uneven bars, and second on the vault.  The 17-year old placed second at the 2007 Tyson American Cup and fourth in the all-around of the `07 USA vs. Great Britain International Competition in Lisburn, Ireland. She also captured all-around titles at both the `05 Junior Gymnastics Competition in Yohohama, Japan, and the Olympiad Elite in Ensenada, Mexico, a year prior.  Kelley helped the U.S. squad to a silver medal at the 2006 World Championships as a finalist on floor.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Stone is a member of Metroplex Gymnastics where she is coached by Bryan Streeter, Dave Marus, and Jana and Marcus Harlin.  The Spring Creek Academy senior and junior elite gymnast is a two-time qualifier for the U.S. Classic. She won the all-around title at the 2005 Metroplex Challenge and won the beam title at the 2006 level 10 Texas state competition.



 

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