Jan. 30, 2010
DALLAS — The second-ranked University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics squad improved to 6-0 on the season with a quad meet win over Alaska-Anchorage, N.C. State and TWU at the 2010 Metroplex Challenge in Dallas on Saturday.
OU swept all four team event titles and improved to 47-6 in the regular season under fourth-year head coach K.J. Kindler after individual titles on bars (Hollie Vise – 9.925), beam (Vise – 9.925) and floor (Jackie Flanery – 9.95).
The Sooners were forced to count their first fall of the season on any apparatus with a pair of falls on beam, resulting in a season-low team score of 196.100. N.C. State (194.875) placed second, TWU (191.225) third and Alaska-Anchorage rounded out the quad meet in fourth (188.9).
“We had more mistakes tonight than we have had all year long, but we know mistakes are going to happen,” said Kindler. “Kayla (Nowak), as a freshman, followed every single mistake on the three events we had and wow…turned it up a notch. That is impressive to see a freshman follow up a mistake and handle it the way she did. It was very mature and it was exciting to see.
“I think our team, since they haven’t been put in that situation this year, handled it well. Obviously, we’re looking for a better result. We’ll look to up our game next week.”
Oklahoma opened the meet with a season-high 49.075 on vault, paced by Sara Stone’s season-high 9.875 that garnered individual event honors for the sophomore. OU received a pair of 9.85s from Brie Olson and Mary Mantle. Olson’s routine matched last week’s career high on the apparatus, while Mantle tied her season best performance. Natasha Kelley made her collegiate debut on vault and scored a 9.775, just two months after the Katy, Texas, native suffered a complete tear of her right ACL.
The Sooners matched their season high on bars with a 49.225 team tally, capped off by Vise’s second-straight 9.925 on the apparatus in the individual win. OU survived a scare after freshman Brie Olson fell on her mount in the squad’s second routine on bars, posting four straight routines of 9.825 or higher to close the rotation. The Sooners tallied a pair of 9.825s from Nowak and reigning Big 12 bars champ Megan Ferguson, while Kelley scored a 9.875 prior to Vise’s routine from the anchor position.
OU counted its first fall of the season after slip-up’s from Natalie Ratcliff and Kristin Smith in the first and last routines on beam, respectively. Oklahoma posted a season-low 48.600 on the apparatus, marking its first sub-49 score on beam this season. Vise paced the Sooners with her second 9.925 of the night, also resulting in her second event honor. Ferguson tallied a 9.85, while Nowak had a 9.8.
Flanery received a 10.00 from one floor judge en route to a 9.95 on the apparatus in the event win. Vise continued her spectacular night with a career-high 9.875 on the apparatus, while Smith rebounded from her fall on beam to score a 9.85.
Oklahoma returns to the Lloyd Noble Center on Friday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. (CT) for a meeting with conference-rival Nebraska and TWU.