OU and ISU in Big 12 Showdown

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 25, 2009

Feb. 25, 2009

 No. 10 Oklahoma (6-3) at No. 22 Iowa State (1-7) 
 Date & Time  Friday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. CST
 Location  Ames, Iowa | Hilton Coliseum
 Tickets  ISU Ticket Office | 303-871-2336

 Iowa State Live Events

 Live Scoring  OU vs. ISU
 Directions  Campus Map
 Official Website  Oklahoma | Iowa State
 Meet Notes  Meet Notes (PDF) SoonersCyclones

The 10th-ranked Oklahoma women's gymnastics squad makes its first of two season trips to Ames, Iowa, on Friday, Feb. 27, closing its regular season conference slate against No. 22 Iowa State.  The Sooners and Cyclones dual meet starts at 7 p.m. (CT) inside Hilton Coliseum. 

OU (6-3,1-1) leads the Big 12 in team average, while tallying the highest season average on all four events as well.  The Sooners are the only conference squad nationally ranked in the top-12 on all four events, standing No. 8 on vault with a qualifying score of 49.115, 12th on bars (48.950), fifth on beam (49.085) and ninth on floor (49.090).

The Sooners are coming off of a thrilling quad meet victory over Big 12 foe Missouri, West Virginia and Brown in which Oklahoma won three of the four event titles en route to the win. 

The Sooners carry a 38-14-1 all-time series advantage over the Cyclones, but the series has been tightly contested in recent memory. OU needed a 9.95 from Kiara Redmond on vault (OU's final routine of the night) to push the Sooners past the Cyclones at the 2008 Big 12 Championship title.  The two also met at the 2007 NCAA Central Regional Championships, where Oklahoma advanced on a tiebreaker after the respective squads had both tallied a team score of 195.925. 

OU defeated the Cyclones 196.375-193.675 in Norman on Feb. 15, 2008, in the other recent meeting.

Iowa State enters the Oklahoma meet off of its first win of the season, a 194.600-191.475 home triumph over Minnesota on Beauty and the Beast night in front of 7,224 fans in Hilton Coliseum -- more than double the previous all-time Cyclone attendance high.

ISU capped the win with a season-high 49.225 on floor -- the highest tally on any apparatus this season for the Cyclones. 

Senior Ceilia Maccani led ISU to the victory, scoring a career-high 9.925 on bars and a 9.8 on vault.

 Sooner to Watch 

Jackie Flanery | Jr. | VT-FX 
Flanery posted a career-high-tying 9.85 in OU's quad meet vault win (49.250) and followed up the routine with a share of the floor title (9.875), as Oklahoma defeated a pair of ranked squads in the quad meet victory. Flanery's floor score tied teammates Ashley Jackson and Kristin Smith as the Sooners posted an event-winning 49.300 on the event en route to the narrow victory.


• MEET INFO                           
Live scoring and a webcast (Clone Zone subscribers) will be available at www.cyclones.com.  Following the meet, a complete recap, photos, video highlights and official scores will be posted to www.SoonerSports.com, the official home of OU women's gymnastics.

Friday, Feb. 27:
Iowa State vs. Oklahoma (7 PM)
Missouri vs. Michigan State, Western Michigan, Cal State Fullerton (6:30 PM)

Saturday, Feb. 28:
Nebraska at Michigan (5 PM)

The Sooners have reeled off an 12-2 record versus Big 12 opponents since the start of the 2007 schedule, including a 7-1 mark during regular season action. 

Prior to OU's loss at Nebraska earlier this season, its last regular season defeat to a conference opponent was Feb. 10, 2006, against Iowa State - then coached by K.J. Kindler. 

• REGULAR SEASON SENSATIONS                                                                                                          
Oklahoma has won 37 of its last 41 regular-season matchups dating back to Jan. 19, 2007. 

• STILL NEAR THE TOP                                                                                                           
OU's team tally of 197.175 at TWU on Jan. 17 shares the fourth-best mark in the NCAA this season.  Only Utah, Georgia and LSU (all Super Six squads from a year ago) have topped the mark.  

 HOW THE TEAMS STACK UP                                                                                               
The Sooners lead the conference on all four events, while Iowa State enters the meet ranked third on bars and
fourth on the other three apparatuses. 

Should the meet come down to the final event, OU stands fifth in the country with a beam RQS of 49.085,
while the Cyclones have posted a team RQS average of 48.665 (30th) on floor this year.

New for the 2009 season at Oklahoma home meets is OU's version of Name that Tune. After each rotation, a fan is selected from the crowd to try and guess the name of a song being performed by one of the gymnasts.  If they guess correctly, they are rewarded with an OU prize pack.  Below are a few highlights from the first two meets:

Candace Cindell | Jessica Kinder | Kristin Smith 

• NOT ACTING LIKE NEWCOMERS                                                                                                            
Of the 50 routines that have been competed by gymnasts making their first collegiate appearance on the respective apparatus in 2009, a remarkable 28 (.560) have gone for a 9.8 or better.  The respective group hit four of eight routines at that mark in OU's quad-meet win, including at least one on each apparatus.

• THREE'S COMPANY                                                                                                                                
Needing to post a solid score to hold off a charging Missouri squad that was hitting its vaults, OU's Kristin Smith, Jackie Flanery and Ashley Jackson posted back-to-back-to-back event-winning routines of 9.875 on floor as the Sooners closed with a 49.300 on the apparatus for the quad meet victory. 

It marked the third time this season that three Sooners had clinched a share of an individual event title  (beam - TWU, floor - Minnesota). 

• STICKING TO THE PLAN                                                                                                                                
Senior all-arounder Ashley Jackson posted her second 9.9-or greater vault in three meets in OU's victory on Feb. 20.  Jackson's 9.9 was second to Missouri's Alex Gold, while Jackson won the vault title at Nebraska (9.925) en route to the all-around title against the Huskers. 

• ROAD SWEET ROAD                                                                                                                            
Posting a then-NCAA-best 197.175 in Denton, Texas, on Jan. 17, it appears that the road could be kind to the Sooners again this season.  Five of OU's top seven scores (including three of the top four and a season-best-tying 196.750 at Arkansas) came outside of Norman a year ago.

Oklahoma won three of the four event titles in their quad meet win on Feb. 20 over Missouri, Brown and West Virginia, taking home every apparatus honor except for bars.  It marked the third occasion this season that OU has won at least a share of three event titles in a single meet, a feat the Sooners also accomplished against TWU (four-for-four) and Minnesota (vault, bars, floor). 
• RACKING UP THE VAULT TITLES                                                                                                            
Sometimes overshadowed by fellow freshman Megan Ferguson's strong start to the year, Sara Stone won a share of her fourth vault title of the young season at Denver with a 9.85.  The Dallas, Texas, native stands third in the Big 12 on the apparatus with teammate Ashley Jackson.

• PROTECTING THE HOUSE                                                                                              
The Sooners are 17-1 in their last 18 regular season home meets.  Before Oklahoma's loss to Arkansas earlier this season, its last home defeat before the postseason came at the hands of an Iowa State team that was coached by K.J. Kindler - OU's current head coach.

 A TRUE TEAM EFFORT                                                                                                                                 
Oklahoma is one of only three squads ranked in the latest top-15 to not have an all-arounder in the top-25 RQS all-around rankings (Stanford and UCLA are the others). 

• ANOTHER STRONG YEAR FOR VISE                                                                                                      
Hollie Vise won her third-straight bars title with a 9.875 against Minnesota on Jan. 30, and also picked up the event win on the apparatus at Denver (9.9).  Also earning a share of the win on beam against TWU and the apparatus title in OU's quad meet, Vise has tallied six event wins during 2009 action.  The Dallas, Texas., native is well ahead of her pace last season, when she claimed seven titles on the year (four on bars, three on beam). 

 SMITH GARNERS CONFERENCE NOD                                                                                              
Junior Kristin Smith became the third Oklahoma gymnast to win a weekly award in 2009, earning Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week honors on Feb. 17.  Smith guided the 11th-ranked Sooners to a 196.125-194.825 victory at No. 22 Denver on Feb. 14, winning the beam title with a season-high 9.9 and a share of the floor crown with teammate Jackie Flanery (9.85).  It marked the first time the Oklahoma City, Okla., native has captured multiple titles in her collegiate career.

Roster | Schedule | Notes | 2009 Media Guide

• FRESHMEN PHENOMS                                                                                                                         
OU's Megan Ferguson and Sara Stone have either led the Sooners outright or tied for the team event high on seven occasions already this season.  Ferguson paced the Sooners on bars against Florida (9.85), tied for the beam crown against TWU (9.925), shared top beam honors for the Sooners against Minnesota (9.875) and led the Sooners on bars (9.85) in the quad meet, while Stone's 9.85 on vault at Denver shared the event title.  Stone also posted a team-high 9.875 against Arakansas, a week after sharing vault honors with Ashley Jackson at TWU.    

• SMITH AND FLANERY BOTH WIN TWO                                                                                             
Juniors Kristin Smith and Jackie Flanery both left Denver with a pair of titles against the Pioneers.  Smith nabbed her first event titles of the year, winning the beam title outright with a season-high 9.9 and sharing top honors on floor with Flanery (9.85).  Flanery also took home a share of the vault crown with Sara Stone (9.85).  

University of Oklahoma senior all-arounder Ashley Jackson was named Big 12 Gymnast of the Week by the conference office on Feb. 10.  It's the first conference honor of the season for the Hudsonville, Mich., native who posted career highs on vault (9.925) and the all-around (39.375), capturing the two titles at No. 12 Nebraska on Feb. 8.

The weekly conference honor is the second of Jackson's career, as she was also named Big 12 Gymnast of the Week the first week of February a year ago. The honor comes a week after fellow Oklahoma gymnast Melanie Root was named co-Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week.

• KINDER STEPS UP                                                                                                                                        
The fifth-year senior entered the year without a collegiate event title to her credit, but has already snagged a pair of titles on the young year.  Kinder's lastest event crown came on bars against Nebraska, after a career-high 9.85.  The feat is even more remarkable considering Kinder hadn't event competed on bars until this season.  The Kansas City, Mo., native also posted a career-high 9.9 on floor against Minnesota for her first collegiate victory.    

• ROOT GARNERS FIRST CONFERENCE HONOR                                                       
University of Oklahoma gymnast Melanie Root was named co-Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week by the conference office on Feb. 3.  It's the first conference honor for the Cartersville, Ga., native who tied career highs on vault (9.875) and bars (9.825) against No. 21 Minnesota en route to her first collegiate event title (vault).  Root shared the Big 12 accolade with Iowa State's Ceilia Maccani, who scored a career-best 9.85 on beam and a 9.75 on vault in the Cyclone's loss to Michigan.

• CAREER HIGHS FOR A PAIR                                                                                                                             Along with Melanie Root's career-high 9.875 on vault, Jessica Kinder posted a personal-best 9.8 on bars against the Golden Gophers.  Kinder, a fifth-year senior in the Oklahoma program, just started competing on bars in 2009.  The Kansas City, Mo., native has posted scores of 9.7 or better all three times on the appartus. 

• NATALIE'S NIGHT                                                                           
While many Sooners had trouble on beam against the Razorbacks, the same cannot be said of Natalie Ratcliff.  The sophomore posted a 9.825 on the apparatus in just her second collegiate beam routine - a week after posting  a 9.875 on the event in her beam debut at TWU.   Ratcliff also posted a career-high 9.825 on vault for the Sooners against Arkansas.

• BUST OUT THE BROOMS                                                                                                  
OU swept all individual and event titles against TWU, marking the first time this season that it had won every crown of the dual meet.  The Sooners swept all four team event titles seven times a year ago. 



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