March 17, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The second-ranked Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team closed its regular season with a 196.825-196.700 win over No. 13 Ohio State Saturday, March 17 at St. John Arena in Columbus.
Oklahoma (17-3, 2-0 Big 12) led by just .050 with two routines remaining in the meet. Senior Megan Ferguson posted a 9.9 on beam in OU’s final performance of the night to clinch the win over the Buckeyes.
“We had three really strong events today. We have definitely been focusing on our landings and wanted to clean up our floor routines from last week which I thought we did,” OU head coach K.J. Kindler said. “We had a huge improvement on floor which was one of our focus points this week and under extreme pressure we had some really strong beam routines and bars was awesome.”
OU won the team titles on both bars and beam against Ohio State and won individual titles on vault and bars. Sara Stone won the vault title with a 9.9 while Ferguson and Brie Olson shared the bar title with scores of 9.875.
Next up, the Sooners will compete for their 10th conference title as OU plays host to the 2012 Big 12 Championship on Saturday, March 24 at the Lloyd Noble Center at 4 p.m.
“I’m very excited about the Big 12 Championship next week,” Kindler said. “We have an incredibly strong conference and I’m looking forward to a very challenging competition.”
Saturday is the first Big 12 Championship OU has hosted since 2008 when the Sooners won their first of three straight conference championships.
The Sooners started the night with a 49.275 on bars to lead Ohio State after the first rotation.
OU posted six scores of 9.8 or higher including two 9.875s from Brie Olson and Megan Ferguson in the final two spots of the lineup.
Olson’s 9.875 tied her second-best score of the season while Ferguson posted her seventh score of 9.875 or higher on bars this year.
Erica Brewer and Taylor Spears added a pair of 9.85s for OU, Spears’ 9.85 tied her season-high on the apparatus while Brewer’s was her second-best score of the year.
OU started vault with three straight scores lower than 9.75, but recovered with scores of 9.85 from Olson, 9.825 from Mooring and a 9.9 from Stone to end the second rotation with a 49.000.
“Vault was rough for us today,” Kindler said. “We had a poor warmup and I think it bled into the meet. Our landings weren’t where they needed to be and we are certainly a better team than that. We need a more dynamic start on vault. The last three nailed their vaults but we need a more dynamic start on vault from the first half of our lineup”
Stone won her eighth vault title this season with a 9.9 on the event. Stone has scored a 9.9 or higher in 11 of her 12 vaults this year. The senior from Dallas, Texas, is currently ranked No. 1 in the country on vault.
After scoring its second-lowest floor score of the season last Sunday against UCLA, the Sooners responded with a 49.325 on the event against Ohio State.
OU opened the rotation with scores of 9.825 (Lara Albright) and 9.85 (Olson) followed by a season-high-tying 9.875 from Kayla Nowak and a career-high-tying 9.875 from Brewer.
Stone scored a 9.775 in the fifth position of the lineup after an out-of-bounds deduction.
Ferguson, ranked No. 1 in the country on floor, ended the floor rotation with a 9.9 despite having to finish her routine without music after a technical difficulty. The score was Ferguson’s 19th score of 9.9 or higher this season.
With one event left, OU posted a 49.225 on beam while Ohio State added a 49.425 on floor to cut OU’s lead to just .125.
The Sooners were led on beam by Ferguson who scored a 9.9 in the anchor position, her seventh beam routine to score 9.9 or higher this year.
Stone added a 9.875 on beam for OU, her second-best score of the season.