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OU and MU Meet in Top-15 Clash
February 20, 2008

Feb. 20, 2008

 No. 6 OU vs. No. 13 Missouri 
 Date  Friday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. CT
 Location  Columbia, Mo. | Hearnes Center
 Online  Live Scoring

NORMAN, Okla. - The sixth-ranked OU (13-0) women's gymnastics squad travels to Columbia, Mo., on Friday for a battle with Big 12 rival Missouri.  Undefeated on the year, Oklahoma has already bested Nebraska and Iowa State, the other two conference squads.  

A win on Friday would give the Sooners their best start to a season in program history.  Oklahoma has already matched the start of the 1985 OU squad that went 13-0 before placing 10th at the NCAA Championships.

The Sooners enter Friday's meet after posting a 196.375-193.675 victory over Iowa State in the inaugural Beauty and the Beast night in Norman, Okla., on Feb. 15. 

Senior All-American Kiara Redmond-Sturms became the first woman in OU gymnastics history to post two perfect 10.00s in a career, after posting the score on vault en route to her sixth all-around title in seven events (39.500).

Redmond-Sturms and Hollie Vise garnered Big 12 Gymnast and Event Specialist of the Week honors, respectively, for their achievements against ISU.

Live scoring will be available at www.SoonerSports.com, with a tape-delayed broadcast on FSN Midwest.  A full list of broadcast times is listed in the notes pdf.

  Opponent Preview

The Tigers stand 13th in the latest GymInfo poll, fresh off of a 195.425 - 193.500 victory over in-state rival SEMO on Feb. 15. Mizzou has won three straight matches and a victory on Friday would give the Tigers their best start to a season since going 7-1 in 1992.

Senior Ashley Khederian leads MU with her 18th-place standing in the all-around rankings. Sarah Shire holds the Tigers highest individual ranking, standing eighth in the nation on floor.

Missouri ranks 11th in the country on both floor and beam, 14th on vault and 20th on bars. The Tigers are coached by Rob Drass, who enters his ninth year with the squad in 2008.

  Tentative Line-Up

NAME/SEASON HIGH

VAULT                         
1. Jackie Flanery - 9.825
2. Haley DeProspero - 9.825
3. Jessica Kinder - 9.825
4. Ashley Jackson - 9.850
5. Mary Mantle - 9.900
6. Kiara Redmond-Sturms - 10.00

BARS                         
1. Ashley Jackson - 9.825
2. Caitlin Hinkis - 9.825
3. Haley DeProspero - 9.825
4. Hollie Vise - 9.875
5. Stephanie LoPiccolo - 9.875
6. Kiara Redmond-Sturms - 9.925

Beam                         
1. Ashley Jackson - 9.800
2. Kiara Redmond-Sturms - 9.875
3. Kristin Smith - 9.850
4. Stephanie LoPiccolo - 9.900
5. Hollie Vise - 9.900
6. Haley DeProspero - 9.925

Floor                         
1. Kristin Smith - 9.850
2. Jessica Kinder - 9.850
3. Haley DeProspero - 9.850
4. Jackie Flanery - 9.875
5. Ashley Jackson - 9.900
6. Kiara Redmond-Sturms - 9.950

All-Around                         
1. Kiara Redmond-Sturms - 39.650
2. Haley DeProspero - 39.275
2. Ashley Jackson - 39.275

  Women's Gymnastics Notes

LOOKING BACK - BEAUTY AND THE BEAST WITH IOWA STATE
Kiara Redmond-Sturms became the first woman in OU gymnastics history to post two perfect 10.00s in a career as the eighth-ranked Oklahoma gymnastics squad beat Big 12 foe Iowa State 196.375-193.675 in the inaugural Beauty and the Beast night on Feb. 15, at the Lloyd Noble Center. 

The Sooner women swept all four event titles on the night and also took home individual event honors on all four apparatuses. Redmond-Sturms won her sixth all-around title in seven events (39.500), capped off by the event win on vault (10.00).  Hollie Vise won the first bars title of her career after a 9.875, while tying Haley DeProspero for the event title on beam (9.875).  Rounding out the OU sweep were Ashley Jackson and Jackie Flanery who posted matching 9.875s on the floor.
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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 has garnered gymnast of the week honors for five consecutive weeks.  The announcement marked the third time this season that Oklahoma has won both conference awards and the second straight week it has occurred.

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 17 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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SITTIN' PRETTY AT NUMBER SIX
Oklahoma holds a sixth-place ranking in the latest GymInfo poll -- the highest of any conference squad -- in the first week that the regional qualifying score (RQS) is used to determine the rankings. 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-10 event standings across the board, highlighted by a No. 2 ranking on the floor exercise.  OU's RQS floor average of 49.255 is just 0.015 points behind top-ranked Georgia, who has won the last three NCAA titles.
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NATIONALLY KNOWN NAMES
Individually, the Sooners hold three spots in the top-20 in the all-around rankings.  Redmond-Sturms leads the way at No. 3 in the country (39.325), followed by Ashley Jackson in 15th (38.850) and Haley DeProspero's 18th-place standing (38.815).
 
On vault, Redmond-Sturms is ranked fourth in the country with a RQS average of 9.885. 

Oklahoma holds three spots in the top-25 on bars, led by Redmond-Sturms sixth-place ranking (9.865).  Jackson is ranked 20th (9.805) while Stephanie LoPiccolo stands in 23rd (9.800).
 
The beam duo of Haley DeProspero (9.855) and Hollie Vise (9.825) sit in second and ninth, respectively. 
 
Rounding out the individual rankings, Oklahoma has three gymnasts ranked in the top-10 on the floor exercise.  Redmond-Sturms stands second (9.920), Jackson sixth (9.870) and Jackie Flanery moved up to ninth (9.865). 

 Media Guide | Meet Notes  
Video Feature on OU's Women's Gymnastics

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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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 Saturday, 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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CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'
Through seven 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 sixth all-around title in seven meets against Iowa State on Feb. 15. Winner of four Big 12 Gymnast of the Week honors already this season, Redmond-Sturms has netted 23 individual titles through seven events.
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REGULAR SEASON SENSATIONS
OU has won 26 of its last 27 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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COMING UP NEXT...
After OU's Big 12 showdown against the Tigers, the Sooners return home for a rematch with Texas Woman's University on Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. (CST) inside the Lloyd Noble Center. OU defeated the Pioneers by a score of 196.450-192.800 on January 19. Billed as "Flip for a Cure" night, the meet is OU's breast cancer awareness event. OU gymnasts will wear pink leotards for the event and they encourage everyone in attendance to wear pink as well. The first 350 fans through the gates will receive their choice of a free pair of pink crocs or a free pink "Flip for a Cure" T-shirt while supplies last.
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DOMINATING THE COMPETITION

The Sooners haven't been overly kind to their opponents this season. Through seven events, Oklahoma has either won the event outright or shared title honors in 24 of a possible 28 event competitions.
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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 to finish third in the all-around against CMU.
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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-3 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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THE BEAM QUEEN(S)
OU junior Haley DeProspero won the beam title at the first three 2008 meets for the Sooners and added another title on the apparatus at Denver and against ISU (sharing the honor with Vise against the Cyclones). The McKinney, Texas, native has company though. Hollie Vise earned the first event title of her career after a 9.85 on beam at West Virginia, a week after being named the Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week, then tied DeProspero against ISU (9.875).
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THROWN INTO THE MIX
True freshmen Natalie Ratcliff and Melanie Root have already seen significant action early on during their collegiate campaigns. Root has been in the floor line-up in three `08 events and made her debut on vault at the Cancun Classic. Ratcliff made her first collegiate appearance against Central Michigan, scoring a 9.8 on vault against the Chippewas.
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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.

Hinkis, a native of Simsbury, Conn., finished in the top five on bars four times last season and scored a 9.825 on the apparatus against ISU in her first meet back.
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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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