April 22, 2012
DULUTH, Ga. . – Megan Ferguson finished as the NCAA Runner Up on balance beam as she, Brie Olson and Sara Stone competed for the University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team in the 2012 NCAA Individual Event Finals, Sunday, April 22 at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.
Ferguson finished behind national champion Alabama’s Geralen Stack-Eaton who posted a 9.9375 to narrowly edge out Ferguson’s 9.925 on beam. Stone competed on beam along with Ferguson and finished in seventh place with a score of 9.85.
Olson finished in fourth place on bars with a 9.875. Georgia’s Kat Ding also won the bar title with a near-perfect score of 9.9875.
Also finishing ahead of Olson were Stanford’s Sami Shapiro (9.9) and UCLA’s Olivia Courtney (9.8875).
Ferguson also competed on floor for the Sooners and finished in ninth place along with Jamie Pisani after scoring a 9.8625. Georgia’s Kat Ding won the floor title with a 9.95 on the event.
Ferguson’s second place-finish is OU’s highest individual finish on beam in the K.J. Kindler era. While OU has not had an individual national champion in Kindler’s six seasons, the Sooners now have second place finishes on all four events under Kindler (Madison Mooring – vault in 2011, Hollie Vise – bars in 2010, Megan Ferguson – beam in 2012 and Hollie Vise – floor in 2010).
Ferguson ends her career as one of the most decorated gymnasts in program history. Ferguson is a seven-time All-American, 2012 Big 12 Event Specialist of the Year, 2012 South Central Region Gymnast of the Year, five-time Big 12 Champion, and nine-time All-Big 12 honoree.
The senior has qualified for event finals in three of her four seasons at OU. Ferguson finished eighth on beam and 13th on bars during the 2011 Individual Event Finals and placed seventh on beam.
Ferguson ended the season ranked No. 1 in the country on both beam and floor and ranked No. 2 on bars.
Ferguson led the team as part of a senior duo that anchored the OU lineups all season along with Stone. The pair won a total of 35 event titles in 2012, earned All-Big 12 honors on six events and finished the season ranked No. 1 on three of the four events nationally.
Stone competed on vault and floor for OU in her first three seasons with the Sooners. The Dallas-native was an All-American on vault in 2011 and was consistently ranked in the top 5 on vault throughout her career.
Stone is the only athlete on OU’s current roster that has scored a perfect 10, which she posted in 2010 at Michigan State.
For her senior year, Stone trained beam during the preseason and after an injury to two-time All-American Natasha Kelley in late November, Stone was ready to step in.
In her first year competing the event, Stone scored a 9.825 or higher in 13 of her 15 beam routines and scored a 9.9 three times including the NCAA Semifinal to earn first team All-America honors.
Stone was called on again just two weeks before NCAA Championships as OU lost another gymnast to a season-ending injury. Hayden Ward, the team’s starter on bars, suffered a knee injury during her landing at the NCAA Champaign Regional in OU’s first routine of the night.
Stone, the alternate on bars after OU lost four bar swingers to injuries throughout the season, competed on the event for the first time in her collegiate career which also qualified her for the all-around.
Olson was one of five upperclassmen on the competition floor for OU all season. Olson competed three events for the Sooners in all 12 of their regular season meets and was asked to step in on beam for the postseason after fellow junior Kayla Nowak suffered a broken hand just three days before the Big 12 Championship.
Despite it being her first all-around competition, Olson won the Big 12 Championship in the all-around with a 39.500. Olson went on to place second at the NCAA Champaign Regional with a 39.400 and was a second team All-American in the all-around after scoring a 39.375.
Like Ferguson and Stone, Olson added veteran experience and consistency to OU’s lineup in 2012. The St. Cloud, Minn., native scored a 9.8 or higher in 43 of her 48 routines and hit 46 of her 48 routines.
Olson added nine scores of 9.9 or higher, including a 9.9 vault in the first meet of the year. Olson also set her career-highs on all four events (and the all-around) during the 2012 season.
Olson scored a career-high 9.95 on vault in OU’s upset of then-ranked No. 3 Arkansas on Feb. 5 in Fayetteville, set her career-high on bars with a 9.95 at TWU on Jan. 21. Olson posted a career-high 9.875 on beam during the NCAA Champaign Regional, set her career-high on floor with a 9.9 at Missouri and added a career-best 39.500 in the all-around in her first all-around competition at the Big 12 Championship.
OU finished in seventh place as a team after failing to make the NCAA Super Six by just .200 points in Friday’s semifinal session.
The Sooners had seven All-America honors with four first teamers (Ferguson – beam and floor, Olson – bars, Stone – beam) and three second team All-Americans (Erica Brewer – all-around and bars, Olson – all-around).
The seven All-Americans ties the program’s second-most distinctions. OU also had seven All-Americans in 2010.