Jan. 18, 2011
IRVING, Texas - University of Oklahoma women's gymnasts Kayla Nowak and Taylor Spears earned Big 12 conference weekly honors for Jan. 18. Nowak was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week while Spears was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.
Nowak and Spears helped the Sooners beat N.C. State in OU's first road meet last weekend with a team score of 196.175. The awards are the first for both Nowak and Spears.
Nowak won a share of both the bars and floor individual event titles against N.C. State. The sophomore posted a career-high on bars with a 9.875, to tie with fellow Sooner Natasha Kelley for the event title. Nowak led the team on floor for the second-straight week, scoring a 9.85 on the event, and sharing the event title with Megan Ferguson.
Spears won the beam title at N.C. State after scoring a 9.875 in her first appearance in the OU beam lineup this season. With the score, Spears is now ranked No. 1 in the nation on the apparatus. The 9.875 showing was the highest score by an OU freshman this season.
Spears also competed on bars and floor for the Sooners, scoring a 9.825 on bars and a 9.75 on floor.
Nowak and Spears join teammate Sara Stone in OU's Big 12 conference honors this season. Stone was named the Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week for Jan. 11, in the first week of the year.
Oklahoma moved up to No. 3 in the latest national rankings released Monday. The Sooners host No. 6 Oregon State, No. 23 Denver and Centenary on Friday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m., at the Lloyd Noble Center for "Stick it With the Stars" night.
Fans can take their picture with their favorite celebrity cardboard cutouts and enter to win their favorite cutout at the end of the night. Additionally, the first 250 fans in attendance will receive a free popcorn and small coke.