No. 7 Women's Gymnasts Rally to Defeat No. 11 Arizona

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 10, 2002

March 10, 2002

Norman, Okla. - After two events of Sunday's gymnastics meet with Arizona, Oklahoma head coach Steve Nunno found himself in unfamiliar waters. The Sooners were behind. A strong performance on the balance beam remedied the problem and No. 7 OU took down the No. 11 Wildcats, 196.7 to 195.5.

"That was the first time this season that we had been down at halftime," said Nunno, whose team was down by 0.275. "I don't know if anyone else was concerned, but I was, especially going into a vulnerable event. But the team never lost its focus and the performance on the balance beam turned out to be our highest score of the day. That says a lot about our team."

Two Sooners slipped off the uneven parallel bars, hence OU found itself trailing after two rotations. Impeccable work on the beam bailed out the Sooners. Kasie Tamayo and Christy Gerard all notched 9.90 on the apparatus.

"We've spent a lot of time concentrating on team sets in a competitive atmosphere," said Nunno of his team's work on the beam. "The girls felt a lot more confident and I thought that showed."

Oklahoma, 11-2, then capped the day with a strong showing on the floor exercise. Patricia Aoki keyed the effort with a 9.90.

OU's Mariana Goncalves was the top all-arounder at 39.550 to barely edge Tamayo at 39.500.

Arizona's Nikki Beyschau had the top vault at 9.950. Goncalves led Oklahoma at 9.925. The Sooner senior also topped the field with a 9.90 on the bars.

Arizona, 8-5, defeated OU earlier this season at Maui, a fact that made Sunday's triumph more pleasing for Nunno.

"We kind of gave that one away on the bars so it was nice to see us rebound the way we did today," he said. "We scored a little lower today, but overall we just looked better. Now we've got a good head of steam."



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