Sooners travel to Corvallis for first of five top 10 matchups in 2012.
Jan. 11, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- The fourth-ranked Oklahoma women's gymnastics team faces the first of its five top 10 matchups in 2012 with a road meet at Oregon State Friday, Jan. 13 in Corvallis, Ore., at 9 p.m. CT.
OU (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) enters Friday's meet following its first-place finish at “Excite Night at the Kentucky Classic” last weekend with a score of 195.875. OU (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) finished ahead of No. 23 Kentucky (194.325), Bowling Green (188.925) and Wisconsin-Oshkosh (174.725) at the meet.
The Sooners swept all eight event titles (team and individual) while the OU gymnasts accounted for the top three scores on all four events in Kentucky. Brie Olson won titles on vault (shared with teammate Sara Stone), bars and floor (shared with teammate Kayla Nowak).
Oregon State opens the 2012 season with Friday's meet. OSU returns eight gymnasts from the 2011 squad that won the Pac-10 Championship and finished the season eighth in the nation. The Beavers' returners accounted for 19 out of 24 routines from the NCAA Championship last April.
OU leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 8-5. The Sooners won the last meeting between the two programs on Jan. 21, 2011, 195.300-194.650.
ON THE WEB
Fans can find a free live webcast of Friday's meet via Beaver Nation Online at OSUBeavers.com. Oregon State will also provide live scoring during the meet, also on OSUbeavers.com.
GYMNAST TO WATCH - BRIE OLSON
Olson was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week for Jan. 10 after winning three of the four event titles at the Kentucky Classic. Olson tied her career-high on vault with a 9.9 while posting a 9.85 on both bars and floor. Olson is one of OU's four returning All-Americans and provides veteran experience for the vault, bar and floor lineups.
The Sooners travel to Denton, Texas, for a quad meet at TWU with Centenary and Utah State on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m., at Kitty Magee Arena. Last year in Denton, OU head coach K.J. Kindler collected her 100th win at OU when the Sooners defeated TWU on Jan. 23, 2011.
OLSON COLLECTS BIG 12 HONOR
With her three event titles in Kentucky, Junior Brie Olson was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week for Jan. 10, announced by the conference Tuesday. The weekly award was the first for Olson. The St. Cloud-native tied her career-high of 9.9 on vault to win the event championships at the Kentucky Classic and also finished first on bars and floor with a 9.85 on both events.
Three of OU’s five newcomers competed for the Sooners Saturday in Kentucky. Freshman Rebecca Clark finished in the top three on vault (9.875), bars (9.8) and beam (9.775) while sophomore-transfer Lara Albright finished in second place on floor with a 9.825. Freshman Erica Brewer also competed on vault, bars and floor Saturday. The Kentucky-native scored a 9.85 on vault in the leadoff position, a 9.7 on bars and a 9.125 on floor after a missed-landing.
REGULAR SEASON SENSATIONS
OU clinched its third perfect regular season in four years (and second straight) on March 11, 2011, with its 196.875-194.800 win over Michigan State in Norman. The Sooners went 14-0 in 2010 and finished 2011 at 15-0. Add in OU’s 3-0 start in 2012 and its current nation-leading regular-season win streak sits at 32 victories. OU’s last regular-season loss was to Alabama in Tuscaloosa on March 13, 2009. Oklahoma is 70-6 in the regular season under Kindler.
Oklahoma is now 8-2 in season openers under head coach K.J. Kindler with the wins in Kentucky. OU’s only two losses in season openers were on the road against Alabama in 2007 and Florida in 2009. The Sooners are 38-23 all-time in season openers.
CLOSER LOOK AT OKLAHOMA IN 2012
OU starts the 2012 season ranked No. 4 in the GymInfo preseason coaches poll, behind No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Florida. The Sooners received two first place votes in the poll and tied OU’s program-best preseason ranking.
The Sooners add five newcomers for 2012 and return an impressive 18 of 24 routines from the 2011 lineup, including nine All-American performances.
Headlining OU’s returners are five-time All-American Megan Ferguson, two-time All-American Kayla Nowak and All-Americans Brie Olson and Sara Stone. Ferguson, Nowak Olson and Stone provide veteran leadership and experience that will be vital for the young Sooners.
OU will be tested in 2012 with the loss of All-American Natasha Kelley and a challenging schedule. Kelley, who consistently scored in the 9.9s on vault, bars and beam, suffered a season-ending injury during preseason practice. The loss of Kelley’s talent and experience will challenge OU’s depth throughout the 2012 schedule, which includes 10 teams ranked in the preseason top 25 and five top 10 teams.
FOLLOW THE SOONERS
The OU gymnastics program maintains its own Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts, which are updated frequently with all of the latest news about the squad. Links to each of these pages as well as a behind-the-scenes blog can be found at www. SoonerSports.com.