Feb. 19, 2010
COLUMBIA, MO. - The second-ranked OU women’s gymnastics team made it a season sweep of Big 12 opponents during the regular season with a 197.050-195.500 victory at No. 17 Missouri on Friday. The Sooners eclipsed the 197-point barrier for the second consecutive meet for the first time since 2004, scoring a 49.275 or higher in their final three rotations in the win.
OU swept all four team event titles for the second week in a row, while Sara Stone (vault – 9.925), Megan Ferguson (beam – 9.95) and Jackie Flanery (floor – 9.925) took home individual event titles.
The Sooners added another victory to their commanding all-time series lead, which now stands at 48-11. Oklahoma has won each of the last 13 meetings with Mizzou, while tonight’s 1.55 margin of victory was the largest in the series since OU posted a 196.125-193.825 victory in Norman in 2007.
“For the first time all season I felt like we really came out and put four solid events together,” said head coach K.J. kindler. “We still left a few tenths here and there, with some missed handstands and angles, but had one of our best warm up’s of the year and never looked back.
“The enthusiasm we were able to hold throughout the entire meet became contagious, as they fed off of each other. It’s what you have to do anytime you go on the road, trying to take the crowd out of it.”
Oklahoma trailed for just the second time this season after posting a 49.100 on bars, while Mizzou opened the meet with a 49.150 on vault. The Sooners were 6-of-6 on the apparatus, paced by Hollie Vise’s 9.875 from the anchor position. Natasha Kelley preceded Vise’s routine with a 9.85, while Brie Olson scored a 9.825 from the second position.
OU quickly overtook the Tigers on the next rotation and never trailed again after a 49.275 on vault, its second highest score on the apparatus this season. Stone won a share of her first individual event title this season with a career-high 9.925 to pace the Sooners.
Oklahoma’s first four routines on vault were all 9.825 or higher, as Natasha Kelley (9.9) and Natalie Ratcliff (9.85) joined Stone with career bests.
The Sooners proved why they are considered one of the best floor squads in the country, ending the rotation with five straight scores of 9.8 or higher, capped by Flanery’s 9.925 from the anchor position. OU had its first stumble of the night with a fall from the first position, but quickly erased the error as Ferguson and Kayla Nowak got the Sooners back on track with a pair of 9.8s. The senior duo of Vise (9.85) and Kristin Smith (9.9) preceded Flanery as OU had its second best floor tally of the season with a 49.275.
Oklahoma led 147.650-146.400 as Mizzou rebounded from its troubles on bars with a solid score on beam (49.075).
OU ended the dual with a 49.400 on beam, just a tenth of a point shy of its season high on the apparatus. Ratcliff opened the rotation with her highest road score on beam this season with a 9.825, while Kelley (9.85) and Smith (9.875) both posted solid routines.
Vise sealed the win from the fifth position, scoring a 9.9 while the sound system inside the Hearnes Center blared David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.” Ferguson followed with an event-winning 9.95 for good measure from the anchor position as the Sooners improved to 19-2 against conference opponents under Kindler, including an 11-1 mark during the regular season.
“Anytime you can go on the road and beat a quality team in its own house shows that you are on the right track,” said Kindler. “We still have some work to do, but this team has certainly shown glimpses of its bright future.”
Oklahoma returns to action at Michigan State on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. (CT).