TULSA, Okla. The No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners women’s gymnastics team (13-3) lost to No. 4 Louisiana State Friday night at the John Q. Hammons Arena, 197.850-195.750.
The Tigers swept the competition, winning all four events. LSU scored a program-record 49.725 on beam and season-highs on vault (49.450) and bars (49.325).
“It wasn’t our best meet by any means,” OU head coach Steve Nunno said, “but we didn’t count any falls. There were a lot of mistakes and we can’t compete like that with a team like LSU. We need to come out with our big guns firing on all cylinders. The Tigers were polished and excited throughout the meet and we need to strive to be at that level.”
LSU’s April Brookholder scored two perfect 10s on vault and bars. The junior also added a 9.9 on bars and a 9.925 floor exercise score to clinch the all-around victory with a 39.825 total.
Oklahoma’s Erin LaBarr placed second in the all-around with a 39.450. The Bartlesville, Okla., native ended the night with a rousing 9.925 floor routine in front of the home crowd, tying for second on the apparatus.
“Erin LaBarr,” Nunno continued, “what a leader. We were down and out and she juiced up her floor routine and added some extra difficulty. She performed the routine of her life. It’s that type of leadership and spirit we will need out of our team at the Big 12 Championships.”
The Sooners’ other all-around competitors, Kristen Cox and Brittney Koncak, placed third and fourth, respectively.
Ashley Cooney competed for the first time since spraining an ankle at Iowa State. The sophomore competed on the uneven bars, scoring a 9.7.
“Ashley’s coming along,” Nunno said. “She did a mount for the first time since her injury. She had not performed one all week in practice.”
It was a rare road trip to Tulsa for the Sooners, whose three losses have come at the hands of higher-ranked opponents, but the crowd of 1,168 kept the energy level high.
Despite the loss, there were some bright spots for the Sooners.
Freshman Caitlin Hinkis set a new career high on bars, performing a routine that netted a 9.85 score and freshman Jessica Kinder matched her best score of the season on floor with her own 9.85.
OU travels to Southern Utah, ranked No. 20, next week for the final regular-season meet of 2005. The Sooners then host the Big 12 Championships at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman on March 26.