Feb. 7, 2001

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New No. 1

With its 215.550 point total in a victory over then-No. 4 Iowa, the Oklahoma men's gymnastics team claimed the top spot in the national poll this week.

The Sooners ranking average of 214.575 is more than two points higher than second-ranked Michigan (212.500).

"We're extremely excited to be ranked first," said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. "Our goal is to maintain that ranking throughout the NCAA Championships and finish No. 1."

Winter Cup Information

The Sooners compete in a different meet this weekend when several OU gymansts will travel to Las Vegas to compete in the Winter Cup.

The event is an individual tournament comprised of the top 48 finishers from the recent John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships or anyone who placed in the top 15 at the 2000 Junior Nationals. For OU, sophomores Daniel Furney, Shannon Carrion and freshman Jock Stevens all qualified for the Cup.

The preliminaries are Friday while the finals take place on Saturday. The top 36 from Friday's prelims qualify for the finals.

Next Team Meet
OU's next team competition will be Feb. 18 against Michigan and Massachusetts in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at 1 p.m.

Another Tough Road
For the second consecutive meet, the women's team competes against a top ten team on the road when it takes on No. 7 Florida Saturday in Gainesville, Fla. at 7 p.m.

Last Friday, the Gators (4-6) scored 196.925 to defeat No. 8 Michigan (194.925) and Auburn (189.925) to win the SunTrust Disco Explosion in Gainesville.

UF leads the series 2-0. The two team haven't competed since 1989.

Women's Facts & Figures

  • Sophomore Leah Mueller is the lone OU women's gymnast ranked nationally in an individual event. She is ranked 13th on the vualt with an average of 9.845 and has won the event in four of five competitions this season.
  • Third-year gymnast Mariana Goncalves won the first all-around in her Sooner career last Saturday against Nebraska.

    Men's Facts & Figures

  • Oklahoma is No. 1 in the polls for the first time since its 1991 national championship season.
  • Senior captain Brendan O'Neil won the floor exercise for the third time in as many competitions this season.

    Women Lose Second Meet

    The women's team suffered its second loss of the season, 196.025-194.300, to then-No. 5 Nebraska last Saturday in Lincoln.

    The ninth-ranked Sooners (8-2, 0-1) claimed the top two spots in the all-around. However, it was NU's sweep of the individual events that was the difference.

    Junior Mariana Goncalves won her first all-around of the season with a 39.450 while freshman Kasie Tamayo (39.275) finished second. Goncalves also placed second on the vault (9.850) and the floor exercise (9.875).

    Men Thump Iowa
    The men's squad improved to 5-0 after Saturday's 215.550-210.475 victory over Iowa in Iowa City.

    OU gymnasts won five individual titles as well as the all-around. Winners included senior Steve Van Etten (vault), O'Neil (floor exercise and parallel bars), junior Ryan Hillyer (horizontal bar), sophomores Brett Covey (still rings) and Furney (all-around).

    Big 12 Championships
    For the first time since 1997, the University of Oklahoma will be hosting the Big 12 Women's Gymnastics Championships.

    The event will take place March 23 and 24, 2001, at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. The Lloyd Noble Center is located at the southwest corner of the Imhoff Rd. and Jenkins Ave. intersection, just north of Highway 9.

    Four teams - Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma - will compete in the championships. Iowa State won the conference crown last year in Ames, Iowa.

    Tickets for the meet are five dollars for adults and two dollars for children (12 and under). For more information, call the University of Oklahoma Athletic Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-4668.

    Gymnastics Website
    For all the latest news and information on Oklahoma men's and women's gymnastics teams, be sure to check out www.soonersports.com