The Oklahoma vs. Iowa State series is one of the longest in each program’s history. The Sooners and Cyclones have competed against each other regularly during the regular season ever since 1982, OU’s second season of competition. As other Big 12 opponents have come and gone, OU and ISU continue to compete in a rivalry that OU currently leads 44-18 overall. The last time the two teams competed in Ames, OU came out on top, 197.225-195.375 in 2011. Adding to the series’ long history, OU head coach K.J. Kindler competed at Iowa State before coaching in Ames for over a decade, including a stint as head coach from 2001-06, before coming to Oklahoma. Assistant coach Lou Ball also coached for many years at ISU with Kindler.
A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT
Iowa State will hold a Beauty and the Beast event for the fourth time in program history on Friday and are undefeated in their three previous Beauty and the Beast events at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones have been hit hard by injuries this season, with all-arounders Hailey Johnson and Caitlin Brown sidelined. Freshman Sara Townsend has been a welcome addition to the Cyclones this year, winning two event titles (vault and floor) while improving or tying her career high on all three events at all three meets in 2013.
LAST WEEKEND - at WEST VIRGINIA
The No. 2 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team cruised to victory Friday, scoring 197.375 to defeat Big 12 foe West Virginia (195.875) and non-conference opponents Western Michigan (192.475) and William & Mary (192.225) on Saturday. The Sooners scored season bests on vault, beam and floor on their way to posting their second-highest team score in Big 12 competition in program history, finishing just shy of a 197.400 at Missouri last season. The score was also the ninth-best ever by a Sooner team. Senior Brie Olson earned the top all-around score with a 39.575, a personal best. Olson also tied a career high on bars and posted a new high mark on floor.
SOONERS EARN BIG 12 WEEKLY AWARDS
Senior Brie Olson won Gymnast of the Week, junior Madison Mooring took Specialist of the Week and freshman Haley Scaman earned Newcomer of the Week for their efforts against WVU. Oklahoma has swept conference honors four of the five weeks this season, winning 14 of 15 honors. Eight different Sooners have earned at least one award this season.
The Sooners are the only team in the country to have scored a 197.000 or higher at two road meets this season and one of only two teams in the country to have done it once on the road.
BEST ON BEAM
Oklahoma retains its No. 1 ranking nationally on beam with a 49.325 average, almost two-tenths higher than second place Michigan’s average of 49.155. The Sooners’s score of 49.475 on the event against West Virginia is the highest score any team in the country has totaled on beam.
An OU gymnast has won the all-around in all five of the Sooners’ meets this season, with junior Taylor Spears finishing on top against No. 11 Georgia, No. 11 Denver and at the Metroplex Challenge, sophomore Erica Brewer at Arizona State and senior Brie Olson at West Virginia. For their efforts, each gymnast has earned Big 12 Gymnast of the Week after each all-around title.
Spears, a junior from Plano, Texas, scored a career-high 39.550 vs. Denver, including scores of 9.925 on beam and 9.9 on vault. After sitting out week one, Brewer won the all-around title at ASU after scoring a 39.350, tying for the bars title and winning the beam title. Against WVU, Olson set a career high with a 39.575, highlighted by a 9.925 on floor.
Spears and Brewer are currently ranked No. 7 and 12, respectively, in the all-around nationally.
In just five meets this season, seven different Sooners have won individual event titles compared to eight over the course of the entire year in 2012. OU has claimed 25 titles overall, including nine alone from junior Taylor Spears. OU has excelled across all events, winning five bar, four all-around, three vault, three beam and three floor titles.
Four different Sooners (Madison Mooring, Brie Olson, Haley Scaman, Lara Albright) have earned five Big 12 Specialist of the Week honors this season, extending the Sooners’ streak of winning the award to 16-straight weeks, including all 11 weeks in 2012. Last season, current OU graduate assistants Megan Ferguson and Sara Stone combined to win the award eight times, while current Sooners Brie Olson and Taylor Spears won the award twice and once, respectively.
Oklahoma’s freshmen have been put into key spots in the lineup on big stages and have risen to the
occasion this season. Haley Scaman is a three-time Big 12 weekly award winner and is the top-ranked freshman in the country on floor, including a 9.95 score at West Virginia, one of only seven to earn such a score. Scaman has scored a 9.8 or better on 12 of 14 events this season.
Fellow newcomer Keeley Kmieciak has competed in the all-around in every meet for the Sooners. Against Denver, Kmieciak posted a career-high 39.350 all-around score, including a 9.9 on bars to win the event to earn her Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors.
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