Jan. 17, 2009
DENTON, Texas -- The ninth-ranked Oklahoma women's gymnastics squad (1-1) posted the highest score in the NCAA this season en route to a 197.175-189.600 victory against Texas Woman's University (0-1) on Saturday night. The Sooners claimed every team and individual event title of the dual meet in front of a capacity crowd of 1,107 inside Kitty Magee Arena on the TWU campus.
Posting their best team score since Jan. 24, 2004 (197.300), the Sooners now claim the highest score in the NCAA in 2009. Entering tonight's competition with the top score in the NCAA was Georgia (winner of the last four national titles) with a mark of 196.85.
With tonight's victory, Oklahoma has won 32 of its last 34 regular-season matchups dating back to Jan. 19, 2007.
"It's a real confidence builder as we continue our season," said head coach K.J. Kindler. "In all honesty, I saw ten times as much energy, confidence and enthusiasm as we showed at Florida. It started out with a bang with a great bars set. I thought we did a much better job with our dismounts and stuck landings and it's always nice to end with one of those beam nights that you'll never forget."
Oklahoma was without the services of Haley DeProspero on vault and floor and senior all-arounder Jessica Kinder on all four events, yet still posted all four event scores of 49.125 or better.
Kindler called OU's season-opening outing at Florida "flat", as the Sooners entered tonight's meeting eager to prove their merits.
The Sooners burst out of the gate with a title-winning 49.2 on bars, counting no score lower than a 9.8 and marking the first time this season they have cracked the 49-point barrier on any event. OU junior Hollie Vise anchored the Sooners, winning her first event title of the year with a 9.875. Posting a pair of 9.85s were Ashley Jackson and Megan Ferguson (her second-straight 9.85 on the apparatus). The Sooners rounded out the event with a career-best 9.825 from Melanie Root and a 9.8 from DeProspero.
OU led 49.200-48.450 after the first rotation as the Pioneers were paced on vault by Rashonda Cannie's 9.8.
Oklahoma also eclipsed the 49-point barrier on vault, scoring an event-winning 49.125 after a pair of 9.875s from Jackson and Stone in the fifth and sixth spots, respectively. The duo shared the event title as the Sooners also received a 9.825 from Mantle, a 9.8 from Flanery and a 9.75 from Natalie Ratcliff. After TWU's bars score of 48.050, OU led 98.325-96.500 at the midway point of the competition.
Keeping its foot on the throttle, Oklahoma posted a 49.325 on floor in its third rotation, thanks in part to Jackson's event-winning 9.95 - a career high and the second-best score in the NCAA on the apparatus in 2009. Kristin Smith and Flanery scored a pair of 9.9s (Smith's was a personal best), Mantle posted a 9.8 and the freshmen duo of Ferguson and Stone both hit 9.775s. OU led 147.650-141.350 through three rotations as the Pioneers were forced to count four falls on beam.
The Sooners closed the meet with a trio of event-winning 9.925s on beam from DeProspero, Ferguson and Vise (career best's for Ferguson and Vise). OU also counted a pair of 9.875s from Smith and Ratcliff (her first collegiate beam routine).
OU opens its home campaign on Monday, Jan. 26, against SEC foe Arkansas. The Sooners edged the Lady Backs 196.750- 196.625 last season in Fayetteville, despite a program-tying high score from the home team. The two squads also squared off in the opening session of the NCAA Championships in April, as the Sooners defeated Arkansas 196.075-195.825.