Sooners Dazzle in Senior Night Victory
|Vault||Brenna Dowell (OU)||10.0|
|Bars||Nicole Lehrmann (OU), Maggie Nichols||9.95|
|Beam||Maggie Nichols (OU)||9.975|
|Floor||Brenna Dowell (OU), Olivia Trautman (OU)||9.95|
|AA||Brenna Dowell (OU)||39.700|
|OU Team Highs|
|Bars||Nicole Lehrmann, Maggie Nichols||9.95|
|Floor||Brenna Dowell, Olivia Trautman||9.95|
On senior night, the No. 1 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team shined as they tallied their fifth score of 198 or better this season in a 198.275-197.250 victory over No. 11 Alabama. For the sixth time under head coach K.J. Kindler, the Sooners finished the regular season undefeated with a 17-0 record.
The Sooners, who posted at least a 49.525 on all four events, were stellar as they performed in the Lloyd Noble Center for the final time in the regular season. OU bested Alabama on all four events and swept the event titles.
“This was a very consistent meet for us,” Kindler said. “We’re looking at a quarter tenth to a half tenth separating the scores on every event, that says a lot, because it says that we are consistently good on all four events. We don’t have a weakness. I think that’s true, we have been developing on beam and floor over the course of the season. I will say I feel like that’s really come out of us about the last three meets on beam and floor. We had some of our highest beam scores on the road last weekend and then followed through today.”
Senior Brenna Dowell was the shining star of the meet, posting her third career perfect 10 with a perfect mark on vault. The senior’s perfect score propelled her to a 39.700 in the all-around, her second-highest score of the season. Dowell took home both the vault and all-around title, along with sharing the floor title with freshman Olivia Trautman.
Senior Nicole Lehrmann and junior Maggie Nichols shared the bar title with matching 9.95s. Nichols also took home the beam title with a near perfect 9.975.
“Overall this was a really solid meet from start to finish,” Kindler said. “Lots of good landings on beams and bars, lots of stuck landings. This score reflects a lot of solid, solid landings. And for our seniors, obviously we’re incredibly excited for them, because they will go on to the next step in their lives and they certainly have earned everything, accomplishment wise, that they have achieved here.”
The Sooners went 49.525 on vault to start the meet, taking the lead over Alabama which tallied a 49.275 on bars in the opening rotation. Dowell was the highlight as the anchor, notching her third career perfect 10 and her second on vault.
“This season, I hadn’t stuck a vault,” Dowell said. “I wasn’t really ever that close. Last year I stuck a lot so that was definitely my goal to go up there and do what I’ve been doing. I stuck a lot in practice, I stuck the one in warmup, so I wanted to do it again. That’s really hard to do, but I did it this time and it was really cool.”
Senior Nicole Lehrmann and junior Jade Degouveia each recorded a 9.9, while freshman Olivia Trautman notched a 9.875 in her return to the lineup. Sophomore Anastasia Webb earned a 9.85 and freshman Allie Stern recorded a 9.825.
OU posted its highest bar score of the season with a 49.600 in the second rotation to Alabama’s 49.275 on vault. The Sooners counted five scores of 9.9 or better, capped off by 9.95s from Lehrmann and Nichols. Webb, senior Alex Marks and sophomore Karrie Thomas earned a trio of 9.9s to push the Sooners to their 10th best score in program history.
On beam, the Sooners were poised from the beginning as they tallied a 49.575 to Alabama’s 49.300. Trautman led off the rotation with a 9.85, followed by three straight scores of 9.9 or better.
Dowell tied her career high with a 9.925 and Lehrmann and sophomore Carly Woodard notched matching 9.9s. Webb recorded a 9.875 in the No. 5 spot and Nichols anchored with a near perfect 9.975, her sixth such score of the season. In exhibition, senior Ashley Hiller made her OU debut, nailing her dismount and earning a 9.8 for her performance.
“It was a dream come true to actually get on the beam and compete for OU and get that talk from KJ before,” Hiller said. “It felt great and was so surreal. It was over so quick, and I want to do it again.”
The Sooners capped off senior night with a bang, earning a 49.575 on floor. Webb and sophomore Jordan Draper led off with matching 9.9s to set the tone of the final rotation. Freshman Emma LaPinta earned a 9.85, followed by a 9.875 from Degouveia. Dowell and Trautman anchored with their event-winning 9.95s to end an incredible night.
The Sooners will host the 2019 Big 12 Championships Saturday, March 23, at 1 p.m. CT. The meet will air on ESPNU.
“I’m so excited,” Dowell said. “I love competing at home and I really love postseason at home. I had Big 12's at home my freshman year, so it’s come full circle that Big 12's are at home my senior year. I’m excited to compete at the LNC one last time.”