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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

OU Gymnastics Trio Honored By Big 12

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© (OU Athletics) Junior Lara Albright. © (OU Athletics) Junior Lara Albright.
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

For the second time in as many weeks and the third time this season, the Oklahoma women's gymnastics team swept the Big 12 weekly awards.

Junior Taylor Spears was named Gymnast of the Week, junior Lara Albright was named Specialist of the Week and sophomore Lauren Alexander was named Newcomer of the Week for their performances in the Metroplex Challenge last Saturday.

Spears picked up her third Gymnast of the Week honor this season and ninth career weekly accolade. This is the first recognition for both Albright and Alexander.

Spears tied for the all-around title at the Metroplex Challenge, a meet featuring No. 7 LSU, No. 9 Georgia and No. 16 Oregon State. Led by a season-high bars score of 9.875 and the second-best score on beam of any gymnast on the night (9.875), Spears won her third all-around title in four meets this year. The junior is currently No. 7 in the nation with a 39.413 all-around average, second-best among competitors with at least four all-around scores or more this season.

Albright totaled a season high and tied a career high with a 9.9 on floor at the Metroplex Challenge. Leading off the rotation for the No. 2 Sooners, Albright scored a team high under pressure, with the Sooners needing a 49.100 or higher going into floor in order to win the Challenge. Performing on podium for the first time this season, Albright set the Sooners up for the win with the second-highest score on floor of the night.

Alexander received a 9.975 on beam at the Metroplex Challenge, the highest score earned on beam by any gymnast in the country this season. The mark was the highest of any gymnast on any apparatus at the Challenge and the highest score by a Sooner this season. Alexander was given a 9.95 by one judge and a perfect 10.0 by another. The sophomore is competing for the first time in her career this season. After suffering two ACL injuries her junior year of high school, Alexander was forced to sit out her senior season. She joined the Sooners in fall 2011, but her injury forced her to quit before the 2012 season began. After sitting out the season, Alexander made it back on the roster this fall.

OU now has won 11 of 12 Big 12 weekly awards in four weeks this season.

The Sooners travel to Morgantown, W.Va., to compete against Big 12 foe West Virginia along with non-conference opponents William & Mary and Western Michigan on Friday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m. CT. The meet will be streamed live for free on WVUSports.com.

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