Feb. 15, 2011
IRVING, Texas – OU women’s gymnasts Natasha Kelley and Taylor Spears earned Big 12 conference weekly honors for Feb. 15, announced by the conference Tuesday.
Kelley was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week for the first time this season while Spears was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for the second-straight week and third time overall.
Kelley won both the bar and beam titles last weekend at Iowa State as the redshirt-sophomore set career-highs on both events. Kelley scored a 9.95 on bars, becoming only the second gymnast in the NCAA this season to reach the 9.95 mark on the event.
The Katy, Texas, native also posted the second-highest score by a Big 12 gymnast on beam this year with a career-high 9.925, trailing teammate Madison Mooring’s 9.95 on the apparatus on Jan. 23 at TWU.
Kelley also finished in second place on vault at Iowa State with a 9.825 on the apparatus, behind teammate Sara Stone who scored a 9.875.
Kelley has scored a 9.9 or higher in five routines this season and a 9.8 or higher in 17 routines and is currently ranked No. 5 nationally on beam.
Spears earned the honors for the second-consecutive week after setting three career-highs in three routines against the Cyclones. Spears scored a 9.9 on bars, a 9.9 on beam and 9.875 on floor. Spears finished in second place on beam and floor and finished third on bars against Iowa State.
The Plano, Texas, native is the only freshman in the Big 12 to score a 9.9 on bars this season and is one of just three Big 12 freshmen to score a 9.875 on floor this year (joining teammate Hayden Ward and Iowa State’s Michelle Shealy).
Spears is the only freshman on OU’s squad to score a 9.9 on multiple events.
Spears has scored a 9.8 or higher on all six of her beam routines this season and is currently ranked No. 6 on the apparatus. Spears is the nation’s highest-ranked freshman on beam.
Kelley and Spears earned OU’s sixth and seventh conference honor this season. Spears has earned Newcomer of the Week three times (Jan. 18, Feb. 8 and Feb. 15), junior Sara Stone was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week for Jan. 11, sophomore Kayla Nowak was named Event Specialist for Jan. 18, while freshman Madison Mooring was named Newcomer of the Week for Jan. 25.
The Sooners host their first home meet in four weeks, facing Missouri on Friday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m., at the Lloyd Noble
Center. Friday is “OU Has Heart” night at OU gymnastics, there will be $.50 hot dogs and cokes and the first 500 fans in attendance will receive a free “I heart OU gymnastics” t-shirt.