OU will compete in the Perfect 10 Challenge as part of the Bart and Nadia Sports and Health Festival.
Feb. 9, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- The fifth-ranked Oklahoma women's gymnastics team will compete in the Perfect 10 Challenge hosted by the Bart and Nadia Sports and Health Festival, Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m., at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., alongside Iowa State and Southeast Missouri State.
The Perfect 10 Challenge is one of the marquis events of the 2012 Bart and Nadia Sports and Health Festival in association with The Oklahoman, an event held Feb 10-12, 2012, dedicated to improving the health and fitness of all Oklahomans.
Oklahoma (10-2) enters Friday's competition after upsetting No. 2 Arkansas, 197.425-196.175, on the road with its second road score of 197 or higher this season. OU swept all four team and individual event titles in the win, while Megan Ferguson won three of the four event titles with three scores of 9.9 or higher in her three routines.
Iowa State (2-3) is coming off a 195.650-195.375 loss to No. 17 Denver. The Cyclones are averaging a 193.950 team score and have wins over Iowa and Alaska Anchorage.
SEMO (0-3) remains winless this season, with losses to Northern Illinois, Illinois State and Michigan State. The Redhwaks hold a team average of 188.408.
OU leads the all-time series with both Iowa State, 44-13-1, and SEMO, 3-1.
Tickets for the Perfect 10 Challenge ($10 for adults, and $5 for University students with ID, or children under 12) are on sale now at the Cox Convention Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets including participating Homeland stores. You can charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or purchase tickets online at www.coxconventioncenter.com.
The 2012 Bart and Nadia Sports and Health Festival, in association with The Oklahoman, on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, from 9a.m.-5p.m., is free and open to the public. The Festival offers a wide array of sports competitions, interactive sports and fitness demonstrations, free health screenings, several fun children’s activities, and information booths on nutrition, health care, exercise, sports and more.
For more information about the Perfect 10 Challenge women’s NCAA gymnastics meet, as well as all of the weekend’s activities, visit www.BartandNadiaFestival.com.
ON THE WEB
Live scoring for Friday's competition will be available at SoonerSports.com. Link can be found in the table at the top of this page.
GYMNAST TO WATCH - MEGAN FERGUSON
The senior five-time All-American was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week for Feb. 7 after winning five event titles in OU's two meets last weekend. Ferguson posted five scores of 9.9 or higher in her six routines, including a 9.95 on floor at No. 2 Arkansas. Ferguson has scored a 9.9 or higher in eight of her last 12 routines and has scored a 9.8 or higher in all but one routine this season.
The Sooners head to Columbia, Mo., for its second straight Big 12 matchup at No. 18 Missouri on Friday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. OU returns home the following weekend for a tri-meet with No. 22 Michigan and TWU on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m., at the Lloyd Noble Center.
LAST TIME OUT
The fifth-ranked Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team upset No. 2 Arkansas on the road Sunday, 197.425-196.175, at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville, Ark. Oklahoma posted its second-best score of the season in the win with a 197.425. Both of OU’s scores of 197 or higher have come on the road this season, the Sooners are the only team in the NCAA this year to break 197 on the road.
197 AND COUNTING
With the 197.450 at TWU on Jan. 21, OU became the first program in the country to break the 197-mark on the road this season. The Sooners posted their second score of 197-plus also on the road at No. 2 Arkansas with a 197.425.. The 197.450 at TWU was the fourth-highest team score in school history and was the second-highest score in the Kindler era. OU’s program-best team score of 197.950 came on March 5, 2010 against then-No. 1 Alabama at the Lloyd Noble Center.
The Sooners' upset over No. 2 Arkansas came just 48-hours after OU's first regular season home loss since 2009. The Sooners fell to No. 9 Nebraska at the Lloyd Noble Center on Friday, Feb. 3 after counting a fall on floor in the final rotation. Two days later, OU upset No. 2 Arkansas on the road with its second-best score of the season. OU's season-high score came one week after the Sooners regular-season win streak was snapped at No. 7 Oregon State on Jan. 13. OU posted a 197.450 at TWU to finish first at the Pioneers' quad meet.
Seniors Megan Ferguson and Sara Stone have provided consistency and stability for the Sooners in 2012 with no better example than the Sooners' past three meets. Combined, Ferguson and Stone won or shared 11 of the 12 event titles, set four career-highs and scored a 9.9 or higher in 14 of 24 routines. Ferguson has posted a 9.9 or higher in eight of her last 12 routines while Stone has scored a 9.9 or higher six times this year.
TO BE THE BEST...
You have to beat the best. OU is no stranger to tough schedules and 2012 is no exception. The Sooners have five of the current top 10 teams on its 2012 slate, including reigning national champion and current No. 2 Alabama at home on March 2. OU has already seen then-ranked No. 7 Oregon State, No. 9 Nebraska and No. 2 Arkansas and still has Alabama and No. 7 UCLA remaining on the schedule.
BIG 12’S BEST
OU has won six of the first 12 Big 12 weekly awards of 2012 and have won all five Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week honors. Brie Olson was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the week on Jan. 10, Taylor Spears was Event Specialist of the Week on Jan. 17 and then Gymnast of the Week on Jan. 24, Sara Stone was named Event Specialist of the Week on Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 and Megan Ferguson was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week for Feb. 7. An OU gymnast has been named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week for five straight weeks, tying OU's own record for most consecutive event specialist of the week awards in one season.
FIRST TIME’S THE CHARM
Taylor Spears made her first career appearance in the all-around on Jan. 21 at TWU. The sophomore won the all-around title Saturday with a career-high 39.200 and moved up to No. 18 nationally in the all-around and No. 8 on floor with her performance. At TWU, Spears posted a career-high 9.9 on vault to finish in second place on the event, tied her career-high on floor with a 9.875 to finish in third place on the apparatus, scored a 9.8 on bars and a 9.625 on beam. Spears was the first OU gymnast to compete in the all-around this season and just the fourth Sooner gymnast to compete in the all-around in the last three years.
The Sooners lost their first regular season meet since 2009 last week as OU fell to No. 7 Oregon State, 196.525-195.975. OU’s last regular-season loss was to Alabama in Tuscaloosa on March 13, 2009. With the loss, OU’s nation-leading regular season win streak of 32 ended. Despite the loss, Oklahoma is 70-7 in the regular season under Kindler. 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.
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.