Feb. 12, 2002

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma senior gymnast Mariana Goncalves won her third Big 12 Conference Gymnast of the Week award in five weeks, the league office announced today. The Sao Paulo, Brazil, native led the fourth-ranked Sooners over No. 13 Florida last weekend, winning the all-around (39.575), the uneven bars (9.950) and the floor exercise (9.925). She was also second on the vault (9.900) and balance beam (9.800).

"My goals this season have just been to perform the best I can, for myself and the team," said Goncalves. "This is my last year, and I am having fun competing and enjoying myself in practice and competition."

Goncalves won the award on Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, while OU sophomore Kasie Tamayo earned the honor on Feb. 5. The Sooners have claimed the award the past four weeks and four of five weeks this season.

"Mariana is just turning it on, and she deserves it (gymnast of the week)," said OU head coach Steve Nunno. "She is number one in the all-around in the Big 12 and number three in the country. Her work ethic has helped her earn this honor several times this season, and the team is starting to be recognized for its efforts as well. It's hard to consistent day in and day out in gymnastics, but Mariana has taken big strides this season and has matured as a gymnast."

Goncalves posted the Big 12's best all-around score against Florida. She is also third on the uneven bars, seventh on the vault and 19th on the floor exercise in the national rankings.

The Sooners will be back in action this weekend at Boise State in Boise, Idaho. Meet time with the Broncos is set for 7 p.m. CST.

Pronunciation: marr-e-AHNA gone-SOL-vez