|Vault||Maggie Nichols (OU)||9.925|
|Bars||Maggie Nichols (OU)||9.95|
|Beam||Maggie Nichols (OU)||10.0|
|Floor||Maggie Nichols (OU)||9.975|
|AA||Maggie Nichols (OU)||39.850|
|OU Team Highs|
NORMAN — Facing multiple competitors for the first time this season, the No. 1 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team did not miss a beat as it picked up a trio of victories on Friday night inside Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners scored a 197.675 in the quad meet, defeating Denver (194.500), Nebraska (194.450) and TWU (193.000).
For the third consecutive meet, OU freshman Maggie Nichols swept the individual titles, posting the highest mark on all four events and in the all-around. Nichols tallied a 10.0 on beam, the first of her career on the apparatus and the second overall of her career. She also posted a perfect total on vault at West Virginia. As a team, the Sooners posted the highest total on each event en route to the first-place showing.
The Sooners opened the meet with a 49.275 on vault to take the early lead. In the rotation, Denver scored a 48.400 on bars, TWU a 48.325 on floor and Nebraska a 48.075 on beam. Senior Chayse Capps and sophomore Brenna Dowell posted back-to-back 9.85s in the No. 3 and 4 spots, respectively, while junior AJ Jackson tallied a 9.9 as the fifth competitor. In the anchor spot, Nichols recorded a 9.925 for the Sooners.
“We started on vault and we didn’t have any sticks, even though Brenna (Dowell) stuck three in the warm up," OU head coach K.J. Kindler said. "We didn’t have any sticks tonight and that’s reflective of the score. The vaults were very good but the landings just weren’t there.”
On bars, the Sooners gained momentum as they scored a 49.550, their second-best total on the event so far this season. It also broke into the all-time records, tied for the ninth-highest score in program history. All five of OU’s counting scores were at least a 9.85, including four marks of at least 9.9.
Nichols again paced the Sooners, anchoring with a 9.95, while sophomore Nicole Lehrmann and senior McKenzie Wofford both set season highs with identical marks of 9.925. Junior Stefani Catour matched her season best with a 9.9 in the No. 2 spot, while Dowell contributed a 9.85.
“Bars was exceptional from the get-go," Kindler said. "I thought Chayse started us off strong with just a little step on the dismount," Kindler said. "I’m excited to see Stefani get up there in the 9.9s. She deserves it. Nico (Nicole Lehrmann) getting her high score of the season with a 9.925, which was awesome. Same with McKenzie, she had her high score of the season with a 9.925. We have really good, strong builds throughout that lineup.”
Oklahoma held a 1.300 lead in the meet through two rotations. Denver scored a 49.125 on beam in the rotation, while TWU tallied a 48.825 on vault and Nebraska posted a 48.000 on floor.
OU carried its momentum into beam, scoring a 49.550 to stretch its lead over the competition. As on bars, the total is the Sooners’ second-highest this season and ties for the ninth best in program history. On floor, Denver scored a 49.000, while the Cornhuskers posted a 49.275 on vault and TWU a 48.275 on bars.
Nichols dazzled on beam, picking up a perfect 10.0. She is the first OU freshman to ever score a 10.0 on the event and becomes just the second Sooner ever to post a perfect total on two different events, joining Haley Scaman (three on floor, two on vault).
In the anchor position, Capps posted a big 9.95, while junior Natalie Brown recorded a 9.9 in the No. 4 spot. Lehrmann scored a season-best 9.85, while Catour also contributed a 9.85. Senior Charity Jones led off with a 9.825.
“Balance beam was the best of the year, so I was really excited about that," Kindler said. "I think we may have had just one small wobble on that whole lineup. It was really great to see AJ go in that exhibition spot as well. Just really strong beam today. We definitely can keep working on our dismounts, but there was big improvement and one of the strongest team performances from top to bottom.”
OU closed the meet with a 49.300 on floor, while Denver tallied a 47.975 on vault, Nebraska recorded a 49.100 on bars and TWU finished with a 47.575 on beam. Nichols wrapped up the meet with a bang, scoring a 9.975, while Dowell looked strong as she scored a season-high 9.925. Brown tallied a 9.85 as the second competitor on the event, while Jackson posted a 9.8 in the second-to-last position.
“We had a couple of out of bounds but that’s good because it’s not an endurance issue, it’s a too much juice issue. We just need to calm that down a little bit. AJ (Jackson) is just a little too powerful in that first pass and Nicole (Turner) on her last pass. Those are definitely easy fixes. I thought the energy was great on floor. It was really great to see Jade (Degouveia) go.
"We have really great depth on floor. Chayse Capps sat out this week," Kindler continued. "We were resting her on floor so Nicole Turner stepped in for her place and Jade was the alternate. We had lots of new faces and good improvements ... It was just a really solid meet from top to bottom. There were definitely some really bright spots and areas to work on.”
Up next, Oklahoma will stay in its home state for the Perfect 10 Challenge, held at 6:45 p.m. CT on Friday, Feb. 10, inside Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. The Sooners will take on No. 17 Auburn in the meet. Tickets cost $15 and are available at the Cox Convention Center Box Office or at CoxConventionCenter.com. University students gain free admission with valid I.D.