Second-ranked women's gymnastics will see fellow 2011 Super Six finalist Michigan and TWU Friday.
Feb. 22, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. --The second-ranked Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team takes on No. 21 Michigan and TWU Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m., at the Lloyd Noble Center for OU’s Mardi Gras Masquerade.
Oklahoma (13-2, 2-0 Big 12) is coming off its 197.400-196.375 win over No. 16 Missouri on Feb. 17 in Columbia. With the win, the Sooners improved to 2-0 in conference action while posting their fourth score of 197-plus this season, all away from Norman.
OU is the only team in the NCAA to record four scores of 197 or higher this season and one of just three teams to break the mark on the road.
Michigan (6-2, 3-1 Big 12) was one of the 2011 NCAA Super Six finalists along with Oklahoma. The Wolverines are coming off a loss to then-ranked No. 1 Utah at home on Feb. 17. Michigan’s only loss in Big 10 action was to then-ranked No. 8 Nebraska.
TWU (6-4) will see Oklahoma for the second time this season Friday. OU posted its season-high team score of 197.450 against the Pioneers on Jan. 21 in Denton. TWU is coming off back-to-back wins against Centenary on Feb. 11 and Feb. 17.
The Sooners lead the all-time series with TWU, 60-3, and won the last meeting on Jan. 21. Michigan leads OU all-time, 9-5-1. OU finished ahead of Michigan in the last matchup, during the 2011 NCAA Super Six. The Sooners finished third overall, while the Wolverines finished in sixth place.
MARDI GRAS MASQUERADE
Friday is Mardi Gras Masquerade night at OU women’s gymnastics. The first 500 fans will receive light-up OU necklaces while 50-cent hot dogs and cokes will be available for purchase at the meet while supplies last. Bring your own mask or make one on the concourse prior to the meet while supplies last.
ON THE WEB
Friday’s meet can be seen via live webcast on Oklahoma All-Access, SoonerSports.com’s premium site with commentary from former World Champion and OU All-American, Hollie Vise. Live scoring will also be available at SoonerSports.com.
GYMNAST TO WATCH - ERICA BREWER
Brewer was named Big 12 Gymnast of the Week after winning the all-around title in OU's 197.400-196.375 win against Missouri on Friday, Feb. 17 in Columbia, Mo. Brewer posted a 39.300 in her first career all-around competition. The freshman is now ranked No. 1 in the nation on beam after scoring a 9.95 on the event in her first ever collegiate beam routine.
The Sooners host the reigning national champion No. 3 Alabama Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m., for OU’s Senior Night at the Lloyd Noble Center. OU will hold a special ceremony honoring seniors Candace Cindell, Megan Ferguson, Natasha Kelley and Sara Stone immediately following the meet. During Alabama’s last trip to Norman, OU scored a program record 197.950 to upset the then-ranked No. 1 Crimson Tide while the fans set the program attendance record.
LAST TIME OUT
The third-ranked Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team improved to 2-0 in Big 12 competition Friday after defeating No. 16 Missouri on the road, 197.400-196.375. Oklahoma posted its third straight score of 197-plus, and fourth overall, all of which have come away from Norman. OU is the only school in the NCAA to break the 197-mark four times this year, and one of just two schools to break the mark on the road.
197 AND COUNTING
OU is the only team in the NCAA this season to break the 197-mark four times this season, all of which have come away from Norman. The Sooners are one of just three teams to score a 197-plus on the road, along with No. 1 Florida and No. 8 Oregon State. 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 year. The 197.450 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.
RQS ON THE HORIZON
Starting Monday, NCAA rankings for women's gymnastics will be based on the teams' Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) instead of Total Season Average. RQSs are calculated by using each team's six best scores, three of which must be on the road. Each team's high-score is thrown out and the remaining five scores are averaged. Currently, OU holds the highest RQS out of the 80-plus teams in the NCAA with a score of 196.995.
BIG 12’S BEST
The Sooners hold the top spot in the Big 12 in scoring average 10 team and individual categories. The Sooner gymnasts make up the top three individuals on beam and two of the top three gymnasts on vault, bars and the all-around. OU has won 11 of the first 18 Big 12 weekly awards of 2012 and have won all seven Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week honors, a conference record. 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, Gymnast of the Week on Jan. 24 and Feb. 14, Sara Stone was named Event Specialist of the Week on Jan. 24 and Jan. 31, Megan Ferguson was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Week for Feb. 7, Feb. 14 and Feb. 21, Rebecca Clark was Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 14 and Erica Brewer was Gymnast of the Week on Feb. 21.
Seniors Megan Ferguson and Sara Stone have provided consistency and stability for the Sooners in 2012. Combined, Ferguson and Stone won or shared 17 of the 20 event titles, set or tied eight career-highs and scored a 9.9 or higher in 21 routines. Ferguson has posted a 9.9 or higher in 12 of her last 18 routines while Stone has scored a 9.9 or higher nine times this year.
FIRST TIME’S THE CHARM
Freshman Erica Brewer made her first collegiate beam lineup appearance at Missouri last Friday, stepping in for Rebecca Clark who suffered a season-ending injury in practice last week. Brewer scored a 9.95 to share the beam event title with Megan Ferguson and won the all-around title with a 39.300 in her first all-around competition.
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. 3 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.
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.