A Closer Look

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 06, 2001

Jan. 27, 2001

Two weeks after their season opener in Denton, the Sooners returned to Texas for a tri-meet hosted by Texas Woman's University.

In their best performance of the year, the Sooners earned a stunning 196.225 team total, their best mark of the season, swept the all-around and claimed all four event titles.

"Some people say, `Why do you compete against TWU (a division II team),'" Nunno said. "Well, I'll tell you why. They're a great team, with a great program and an awesome tradition. They've won the Division II title I don't how many years in a row and it's not a cake walk to beat them. If they catch you snoring, they can pass you, and they've beaten Oklahoma before."

There was no snoozing this time around as the Sooners sprinted past TWU and Wisconsin Eau Claire.

Sophomore Leticia Ishii secured her third all-around win of the season, with a season-high 39.45, confirming her spot at the top of the Sooner squad. "Leticia is a rock," Nunno said proudly. "She's carried this team and she's done a great job of it. The team really trusts her to do a good job and so do the coaches. She's a super gymnast to have on any team."

In addition to the all-around crown, Ishii, a former Brazilian national team member, also secured the beam title with a 9.9, another season-high for Ishii.

Ishii's excellence did not go unnoticed. The Big 12 conference named her "Gymnast of the Week" shortly after her victory in Denton.

Second and third in the overall tally went to freshman Kasie Tamayo (39.275) and junior Mariana Goncalves (39.125).

"Kasie is really stepping it up for the freshman," Nunno said, "and Goncalves is finally coming into her own. I think when she upgrades her difficulty on a couple of events, especially vault where she only scored a 9.6, she'll be right up there with the best in the country."

Goncalves bars performance needs no improvement. Performing two tough release moves and sticking her dismount, Goncalves earned a 9.975, the highest score on any event for the Sooners to date.

Redshirt freshman Leah Mueller added to her collection of vault wins, taking her fourth-straight title. Mueller earned a 9.9 for her near-perfect Phelps, pushing her into the top 15 nationally on this event.

Patricia Aoki (sophomore) claimed floor with a 9.925, a season high for the Sooners.

"I'm proud of the team score and think it represents what we're capable of when we go out there and just absolutely hit every routine," Nunno said. "What we need to do know is keep that consistency and start upgrading skills."



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