April 9, 2010
| No. 2 Oklahoma at University Park Regional
|Date||Friday, April 9 at 5 p.m. (CT)|
|Location|| University Park, Pa. | Rec Hall
|Live Webcast|| None
| Live Commentary
||OU routines only|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The second-ranked OU women’s gymnastics squad (17-0) is the No. 1 seed in the University Park Regional on April 10 at 5 p.m. (CT), at Rec Hall on the Penn State campus. The Sooners will face No. 2 seed LSU and meet host Penn State (third seed) in the only 2010 regional featuring three squads that advanced to last year’s NCAA Championships.
All three of the aforementioned squads competed in the first session of the 2009 NCAA Championships, where LSU advanced to the Super Six team final with its third-place finish in the qualifying session. Penn State placed fifth, while the Sooners were sixth.
OU is aiming for its third regional title in program history and the first since the 2006 season. The Sooners also claimed a regional crown in 2004.
Oklahoma clinched its third straight Big 12 title with a team score of 197.175 on March 27 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb. OU swept all four team event titles en route to the highest score by a Big 12 Champion since 2001.
The Sooners enter the regional with a RQS average of 197.170 (second only to Alabama - 197.250) and the highest season average of any squad in the country at 196.896. LSU is ranked 11th in the NCAA with a RQS of 196.415, while the Nittany Lions stand 14th with a 196.225 RQS average. Maryland, Ohio State and New Hampshire round out the University Park field, seeded fourth through sixth, respectively.
The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Gainesville, Fla, April 22-24, hosted by the University of Florida.
|Oklahoma Roster | 2010 Schedule and Results | Intro Video|
The Sooners open the regional with a bye, before floor. Penn State will start the meet on vault, Maryland with a bye before bars, New Hampshire on bars, Ohio State on beam and LSU on floor.
University Park is one of six NCAA regional sites with competition behind held nationwide on April 10.
IN ELITE COMPANY
The Sooners are one of just six squads to advance to the NCAA Championships every year since 2004, joining Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Utah on that elite list. OU’s six championship appearances in the last six years matches the other three Big 12 programs combined during that period. Nebraska advanced to the NCAA Championships from 2004-07, while Iowa State made back-to-back appearances in 2005 and 2006 under K.J. Kindler.
COMING ON STRONG
The Sooners are averaging a 197.23 in their last seven events, including a 197.13 in their last four road outings. OU has posted five scores of 197-plus this season, tying the 2003 squad for the most scores of 197.000 or greater in a single season in program history.
BIG SCORE COMPARISON
OU has posted 70 scores of 9.9 or higher this season, compared to just 24 all of last year.
BIG 12 THREE-PEAT
Oklahoma stands atop the Big 12 podium once again, as the Sooners clinched their third straight Big 12 title with a team score of 197.175 on March 27 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb. OU swept all four team event titles en route to the highest score by a Big 12 Champion since 2001.
Oklahoma gymnasts won a share of every individual event title as well, capped off by multiple conference titles from Hollie Vise (bars - 9.9, beam - 9.925 and floor - 9.9) and Jackie Flanery (vault - 9.9 and floor - 9.9). Flanery was joined atop the vault podium by teammates Brie Olson and Natalie Ratcliff as the OU trio all captured the first Big 12 event title of their careers.
SOONERS WELL REPRESENTED ON ALL-BIG 12 SQUAD
OU captured 12 of the 23 spots on the All-Big 12 Championship squad, which is given to the top four places and ties on each apparatus at the conference championship. In addition to OU’s Big 12 event champions Hollie Vise and Jackie Flanery, Kristin Smith earned the distinction on beam and floor, while Kayla Nowak (floor), Megan Ferguson (bars), Vise (floor) and Flanery (bars) rounded out the accolades.
Following the meet, Kindler was announced Big 12 Coach of the Year and was joined on the awards stand by Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Natasha Kelley. Kelley entered the meet with the highest RQS average of all conference newcomers on vault, bars and beam, despite competing on a 100% torn ACL suffered last November. Kelley was the first Oklahoma gymnast to garner the award in program history, while Kindler won her fifth Big 12 Coach of the Year award (second at Oklahoma).
NO “I” IN TEAM
OU has found a way to win despite the lack of a true all-around presence. Oklahoma’s only two all-around
competitors this season have been Hollie Vise against Washington and Kayla Nowak at Illinois. The Sooners were the only squad ranked in the final 2009 top-15 GymInfo poll without a gymnast in the top-25 all-around rankings. Vise vaulted for the first time in collegiate competition en route to a 39.600 all-around score in the win. Nowak was a last-minute addition to the vault lineup at Illinois and placed second in her first collegiate all-around appearance.
The Sooners are averaging a 196.913 in true road events this season (excludes the Metroplex Challenge which took place at a neutral site in Dallas). That road average alone would rank OU first in the NCAA by total season average (home and away scores). Oklahoma was the only top-25 squad to have both of its top two scores from 2009 come in road competition.
TAKING DOWN THE TOP SQUADS
The Sooners have already defeated three squads that competed in the Super Six at last year’s NCAA Championships, including 2009 NCAA runner-up Alabama. Florida and Arkansas finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Oklahoma aims for its fourth victory over a ‘09 Super Six opponent this week against LSU.
Oklahoma is the only team to score above a 196.000 in every meet this season. The Sooners posted a season-low 196.100 at the Metroplex Challenge on Jan. 30, despite counting their first fall of the season.
REGULAR SEASON SENSATIONS
Oklahoma is 55-6 in the regular season under K.J. Kindler, including a perfect 14-0 mark in 2010. The Sooners are the only squad in the NCAA with a pair of undefeated regular seasons in the last three years.
BEATING THE BEST
OU is 5-0 against top-10 opponents this season, including four victories over SEC foes ranked in the top 10 at the time of the meeting. Thirteen of Oklahoma’s 17 victories this year have come against top-25 squads.
COMING FROM BEHIND
OU has trailed after a rotation in just three meets this season (@Big 12 Championship, @Missouri and
@Illinois). The Sooners trailed host Nebraska at the midway point of the conference championship last week marking the first time this season that Oklahoma has trailed after two rotations.
With its No. 1 ranking on Feb. 22, OU became the first Big 12 program to be ranked No. 1 in the country for multiple weeks during a single season. Oklahoma originally ascended to No. 1 nationally on Feb. 8, marking the first women’s sport at OU to be ranked No. 1 during the regular season.
Oklahoma has gone 49.425 or higher on every event this season, including a pair of 49.6-plus scores on floor. The Sooners are the only squad in the NCAA this season with multiple scores of 49.600 on an apparatus. OU has also posted the highest score in the country this season with its 197.950-197.275 upset of No. 1 Alabama on March 5.
With its 197.475-196.100 win at No. 6 Arkansas (7-4-1) on March 19, OU posted the highest team score ever recorded inside Barnhill Arena, easily outdistancing the 197.025 by Arkansas earlier this season and the 196.725 by visiting Georgia in 2009. The Sooners also set arena records on bars (49.375) and beam (49.450).
VAULTING TO THE TOP
The Sooners have vaulted well over the past five meets, posting at least a 49.400 on the apparatus in every appearance during that span. OU’s event-winning score of 49.500 on vault against Alabama was the second highest score in program history, just behind its 49.575 set against Iowa State in 2002.
Ninety-one of Oklahoma’s 288 routines this season have been performed by freshmen (.316). The group is 89-of-91 on the year. Each freshman that has competed has scored at least a 9.8 in one of their routines, while Natasha Kelley has already tallied 23 scores of at least 9.85.
RACKING UP THE TITLES
The Sooners have collected 86 of a possible 96 combined individual and team event titles in 2010, including at least six combined individual and team event wins in each meet.
TOPS IN THE CONFERENCE
Oklahoma holds the best season average of all four Big 12 squads on every apparatus, while the Sooners hold the top mark in the individual standings on every event but vault. The back-to-back Big 12 Champions are 22-2 against conference opponents under K.J. Kindler, including a 14-1 mark during the regular season.
Sara Stone’s 10.00 on vault at Michigan State was the first perfect score by an Oklahoma gymnast since Kiara Redmond posted one on vault against TWU on Feb. 29, 2008. It was the third perfect routine in the NCAA this season and first by an underclassman. It was the 11th perfect score in program history and fifth on vault.
Just like last season’s second road meet of the season, the OU beam squad provided its breakout performance of the 2010 campaign in its second road outing at Illinois with a team tally of 49.500 on the apparatus. OU reeled off five straight 9.85s or better after a fall from the first position on beam at Illinois. Vise and Smith shared event honors with 9.95s, while Ferguson (9.9), Kelley (9.85) and Nowak (9.85) completed a sweep of the individual event standings on the apparatus.
Oklahoma’s beam tally was its second highest event total on the apparatus under Kindler, just behind OU’s 49.525 on beam at TWU on Jan. 17, 2009.
FOLLOWING THE SOONERS
The OU gymnastics program maintains its own Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts, which are updated frequently with all of the latest news about the squad. Links to each of those pages can be found at www.SoonerSports.com, the official site of the Oklahoma Sooners.
STELLAR YEAR IN THE CLASSROOM
Nine OU gymnasts earned 2009 NACGC All-Academic Scholar awards as the Sooners posted their highest GPA since 2004. Oklahoma’s nine honorees was third best among teams advancing to last year’s NCAA Championship, behind only Alabama (13) and Stanford (10).
Eight OU gymnasts were named to the 2010 Academic All-Big 12 Gymnastics Team, including six first-team members.
It’s the second consecutive season the Sooners have had eight gymnasts qualify for the accolade. OU’s eight honorees were second only to Iowa State’s Big 12-leading 11 selections.
Garnering first-team accolades in 2009-10 were Megan Ferguson (journalism – broadcast and electronic media), Jackie Flanery (human relations), Mary Mantle (human relations), Natalie Ratcliff (early childhood education), Sara Stone (undecided) and Hollie Vise (human relations). Vise and Ratcliff are repeat recipients of the first-team honor after both garnered the accolade last season, while Flanery and Mantle earned second-team distinction in 2008.
Representing Oklahoma on the second team were Natasha Kelley (sociology) and Kristin Smith (human relations).