Jan. 14, 2000

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics team will open its 2000 season at Texas Woman's University this Sunday, Jan. 16. The meet is set to begin at 7 p.m. in Denton, Texas. This is the first of three meetings between the two teams for the season. TWU and OU last squared off last season when the Sooners defeated the Pioneers 195.825 to 191.950.

Oklahoma begins its season ranked 25th in the preseason NACGC Coach's Poll after finishing 18-9 and ranked 25th in the country last season. The Sooners earned their second straight bid to the NCAA Regionals in 1999 when the team posted a fourth-place finish. The squad is captained by Amber McCracken, 1999 Big 12 Gymnast-of-the-Year. OU returns 10 veteran gymnasts and four newcomers to competition. McCracken begins the season looking to crack OU records she set on the vault (9.950) and in the all-around (39.875).

Texas Woman's Head Coach Frank Kudlac, five-time NCAA Division Coach-of-the Year, has a completely different roster than last year with the exodus of six graduating seniors. The 2000 squad features 10 freshman and six veterans. Terri Ruciman, a three-time USA Gymnastics All-American, will lead the Pioneers. Two other USA Gymnastics All-Americans, Natascha Hopkins and Michelle Harper, will highlight the bars and vault competitions for the TWU team. The squad finished its 1999 campaign 10-13 for the regular season and posted a second place finish in the USAG Collegiate National Champions.