NORMAN, Okla. The University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team was victorious in their home opener over the Air Force Academy (197.150-188.650) on Friday night in front of a record crowd of 1,475 at the Lloyd Noble Center. Senior Kasie Tamayo tied the school record for the all-around, recording a 39.675 to win the overall event.
“It was really Kasie Tamayo’s night, she was on fire,” said Oklahoma head coach Steve Nunno. “She tied the school record and that is the way she has been practicing this season and we knew this type of performance was going to come out eventually. And it is really nice to see it this early in the season and at home and she is still improving.”
The Sooners improved to 4-5 with their highest team score of the year topping the previous mark set two weeks ago at the Super Six Challenge (195.275). A big reason why OU was so successful against the Falcons was the performances of the three all-arounders, Tamayo, junior Erin LaBarr and freshman Brittney Koncak.
“This was are biggest crowd ever and that is what really motivates our team,” said Nunno. “Like any place, you are performing at your best in front of large crowds and you also know ahead of time you need to be doing well. Last year we had some home meets where we did not really capitalize on and tonight’s audience really made a difference and it is great to see that kind of support.”
Not only did Tamayo tie the school record in the all-around, which she previously held, but she also recorded career highs on the vault (9.925) and tied her uneven bars’ career high of 9.950. Tamayo took first in every event except floor where last week’s Big 12 Gymnast of the Week, Brittney Koncak, scored a 9.925 for the top score of the evening. The freshman continues to improve breaking her previous mark of 9.875 on bars with a 9.900 tonight and tying her floor and beam scores with a 9.925 and 9.875 respectively. Koncak finished in the top five in every event.
Finally, LaBarr was solid again for OU as she too finished in the top five of every event, including third in the all-around with a new career high 39.450. She also managed to record a new career high on beam (9.850) and tie her career high on floor (9.850).
“Erin, Kasie and Brittney were really great for us and carried us a majority of the way tonight,” said Nunno. “In addition, on top of those three performances, the other girls are really stepping it up and filling in the holes.”
OU will not have much rest before the next meet, as they travel to Denton, Texas tomorrow night to take on Texas Woman’s University at 7 p.m. The Sooners will host their next meet at the Lloyd Noble Center when current No. 4 and conference rival, Iowa State comes to town on Sunday, February 1 for a 1 p.m. meet. Five days later, OU will again host a conference rival, No. 8 Nebraska on Friday, February 6 at 7 p.m.