The Sooners open the 2005 season in similiar fashion to last year’s Big 12 Championship season with a trip to Cancun, Mexico to compete in the Second Annual Cancun Gymnastics Classic. The No. 11 Sooners will take the ﬂoor against No. 18 Brigham Young, George Washington and Gustavus Adolphus (DIII) at 7 p.m. (CST).
OU ﬁnished third last season in the ﬁrst annual Cancun Gymnastics Classic behind Washington and Iowa (both ranked in the top 15 at the time of competition). Washington scored 196.450 to take ﬁrst-place honors in the meet, Iowa was second at 195.350, Oklahoma was third at 195.150 and Texas Woman’s University was fourth at 189.175.
Last season, Brittney Koncak impressed in her ﬁrst-ever collegiate meet as a Sooner ending up tied for ﬁrst on the beam (9.875) and the ﬂoor (9.925). She eventually ﬁnished third in the all-around with a 39.325 and teammate Erin LaBarr was sixth with a 38.750.
OU's 2005 Schedule
*all times local and subject to change.
SOONERS RANKED NO. 11 IN PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL
The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team, coming off an 20-11 season, was voted No. 11 in the GymInfo Coaches’ preseason top-25 poll. All four teams from the Big 12 made the list, as Nebraska was No. 10, Iowa State No. 14 and Missouri rounded things off at No. 22.
UCLA was voted No. 1 for the ﬁfth consecutive year, receiving 15 ﬁrst place votes followed by Georgia (three ﬁrst place votes), Stanford (four ﬁrst place votes), Alabama (one ﬁrst place vote) and Utah (two ﬁrst place votes).
“We are honored to be voted by our peers to be considered one of the top 12 teams in the nation,” said Oklahoma head coach Steve Nunno. “I believe that this is the highest preseason ranking we have ever received here at the University of Oklahoma. Although our team believes that we can better our eleventh place ﬁnish from last season, we’re proud to be ranked among the nation’s best.”
Last season, OU put together one of its most productive seasons by winning its ﬁrst Big 12 Championship and ﬁrst regional championship. OU went on to ﬁnish eleventh at the NCAA Championships. Nunno’s 2005 team will feature nine letterwinners (two All-Americans) from last year’s team that made the program’s fourth appearance at the NCAA Championships. In addition, eight newcomers join OU’s team hoping to make an immediate impact and help the Sooners defend their Big 12 title.
OU will compete against seven teams ranked in the preseason poll in 2005 (three in the top 10), starting with No. 18 Brigham Young on January 7. The ﬁrst home meet for OU is on Jan. 21 against Kent State inside the Lloyd Noble Center.
The following is a complete list of the top-25 as selected in the preseason by the coaches:
9. Arizona State
12. Oregon State
14. Iowa State
15. North Carolina
18. Brigham Young
19. Penn State
23. West Virginia
OKLAHOMA SIGNS JACKSON AND DEPROSPERO
The University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team announced the signing of Ashley Jackson and Haley DeProspero (pronounced deh-PROSS-per-oh) to National Letters of Intent today. Jackson, a native of Hudsonville, Michigan, is a 5-1 gymnast that placed ﬁfth in the all-around at the 2004 Junior Nationals.
DeProspero, a native of McKinney, Texas, is a 5-0 elite gymnast who ﬁnished ﬁrst in the all-around, balance beam and ﬂoor exercise at the 2004 Pike’s Peak Cup.
“We are excited today to announce the signing of these two exceptional gymnasts,” said Oklahoma head coach Steve Nunno. “Haley is one of the most talented athletes in the country and Ashley is one of the most powerful athletes to ever join our team.”
DeProspero competed in the 2003 and 2002 U.S. National Championships ﬁnishing 24th and 27th, respectively. In addition to DeProspero’s three ﬁrst place ﬁnishes at the 2004 Pike Peak Cup, she also ﬁnished in the top ﬁve on three events (3rd-AA, 2nd-beam, 3rd-ﬂoor) at the 2004 Sand Dollar Invite. Haley is the daughter of Bob and Dayna DeProspero, both graduates of OU.
“Haley was one of the most highly recruited athletes this year and we are truly excited that she has chosen the University of Oklahoma,” said Nunno. “There is no doubt in my mind that Haley will become a record holder here for women’s gymnastics. She is coming in at the perfect time as we will probably have our most promising team ever in 2006.”
Jackson had a successful outing at the 2004 Junior Nationals in which she not only placed ﬁfth in the all-around but recorded three other top ten ﬁnishes. Jackson took ninth on the uneven bars, third on the beam and ﬁfth on the ﬂoor exercise at the meet. In other action this year, Jackson was the Michigan State Champion and also placed third in the all-around at the 2004 Region 5 Regionals.
The Michigan native also has some international experience, competing with the Region 5 Team at meets in El Salvador and China this past year. Ashley is the daughter of Francis and Minerva Jackson.
“Ashley has a wonderful personality that sparks excitement with everyone she meets,” said Nunno. “She is a great all-around performer and in the words of her coaches, she’s money in the bank’ when it comes to competing.”
The 2004 Crimson and Cream Intrasquad was a success and gave the coaches and athletes a realistic impression of where they stand heading into the season opener in Cancun, Mexico. It was a close competition between the two teams, the Crimson edged out the Cream team by three tenths of a point.
Crimson team 156.625
Cream team 156.325
As a team, the two squads combined for a solid 196.7 overall tally, where ﬁve of the best scores were counted in each event.
Similar to the years past, the bars is quickly shaping up to be one of the Sooner’s strongest events. Out of the 12 bar competitors, Ashley Cooney, Erin LaBarr, and Kristen Cox led the way all three scoring a 9.85 or higher.
The beam was highlighted by a couple of 9.9 tallies from senior Nicole Gause and sophomore Ashley Cooney.
The strength of the team might rest on the ﬂoor exercise. Senior Erin Labarr led all scorers (9.875) and was followed by freshman Coral Borda (9.875) and Cooney (9.85).
On vault, it was Cooney again leading the Sooners with a 9.95, while junior Kristen Cox was a close second with a 9.9. LaBarr executed a ﬂawless 9.9 start value vault, scoring a 9.8.