The University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics team opened the 2005 season with a victory at the Second Annual Cancun Gymnastics Classic. The Sooners posted a team score of 195.9 to defeat Brigham Young (194.325), George Washington (191.625) and Gustavus Adolphus (175.800) in Cancun, Mexico, on Friday. It was a significant improvement from last year's competition, where the Sooners finished third.
"This was a great start to our season," said head coach Steve Nunno. "This might be the highest score, in the first meet of a season, since I have been here. This team is already proving that they have the potential to be the best team ever at OU. Tonight's scores should really set the pace for the rest of the year and we look forward to next weekend at T.W.U."
OU senior captain Erin LaBarr led the Sooners with a 39.600 in the all-around to win the competition. LaBarr did more than just win the all-around on Friday, the Sooner posted the best uneven bars score with a perfect 10.0. It is the first perfect score for a Sooner since the 2003 season (Allison Landis-uneven bars). It is just the seventh 10.0 in Sooners' history and the second on the uneven bars. LaBarr also went on to take first place in the floor exercise (9.925) and the balance beam (9.9).
"Erin was on fire," said Nunno. "She has battled through some adversity in the off-season and this performance could not have come at a better time."
Sooners' sophomore Ashley Cooney took home the remaining first place title in the individual events by tallying a 9.9 on the vault. Cooney was the 2004 Big 12 Champion on the vault and the West Regional Champion as well. She also took thurd place in the all-around with a 39.025 behind BYU's Jaime Mabray (39.150).
As a team, the Sooners rattled off scores of 48.85 on the vault, 49.25 on the uneven bars, 48.425 on the balance beam and a 49.375 on the floor exercise. Besides the balance beam, where they had to count a fall, the Sooners topped the competition in each team event.
"Our floor exercise team was phenomenal and we won tonight because we made the fewest amount of mistakes," added Nunno. "Ashley, Erin and Kristen Cox are among just a few of the Sooners that competed strongly in this meet."
The Sooners (3-0) will look to build upon this weekend's success in their next outing at Texas Woman's University on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. OU's first home meet will take place on Jan. 21 inside the Lloyd Noble Center at 7 p.m.