Sooners Battle to Road Win at Michigan

Chelsey Kraft
By Chelsey Kraft
Assistant Director of Communications
MARCH 04, 2017
Team Scores
  Vault Bars Beam Floor
OU 49.300 49.525 49.450 49.300
UM 49.200 49.325 49.375 49.625
Event Winners
Event Gymnast Score
Vault Brenna Dowell (OU), AJ Jackson (OU), Emma McLean (UM) 9.9
Bars Maggie Nichols (OU) 10.0
Beam Chayse Capps (OU) 10.0
Floor Nicole Artz (UM) 9.975
AA Olivia Karas (UM) 39.600
OU Team Highs
Event Gymnast Score
Vault Brenna Dowell, AJ Jackson 9.9
Bars Maggie Nichols 10.0
Beam Chayse Capps 10.0
Floor AJ Jackson 9.95
AA Chayse Capps 39.550

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Facing a ranked opponent for the 10th time this season, the No. 1 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team battled to a 197.575-197.525 road victory against No. 11 Michigan on Saturday afternoon inside Crisler Center.

For the second straight meet, two different Sooners recorded 10.0s in the meet, with freshman Maggie Nichols adding one on bars and senior Chayse Capps scoring one on beam. The perfect score was the first for Nichols on bars, while Capps now has two in her career on beam. It is the fourth time overall that OU has had at least two 10.0s in one competition, with the Sooners accomplishing the feat twice in 2015.

With her 10.0 on bars, Nichols has now posted a perfect mark on all four events this season. The 10.0 is also the fifth for Nichols’ this season, tying her with Haley Scaman (2013-16) for the most perfect marks in an OU career.

Nichols is the ninth collegiate competitor to complete a “GymSlam” and the first since Florida’s Bridget Sloan accomplished the feat in 2015. Other gymnastics to do so include Missy Marlowe (Utah), Kristen Kenoyer (Utah), Heather Stepp (Georgia), Karin Lichey (Georgia), Kristen Maloney (UCLA), Ashley Kelly (Arizona State) and Courtney Kupets (Georgia).

Also picking up individual titles for the Sooners were junior AJ Jackson and sophomore Brenna Dowell. The OU duo shared the vault title with Michigan’s Emma McClean with scores of 9.9. Michigan’s Nicole Artz claimed the top spot on floor with a 9.975.

"The crowd was very energetic, and it created an electric atmosphere to compete in," OU head coach K.J. Kindler said. "They were just loving great gymnastics."

The Sooners impressed in the first rotation, rolling to a 49.525 on bars, while the Wolverines opened with a vault score of 49.200. All six competitors scored at least 9.85s, with Capps and junior Stefani Catour both posting that mark to open the event. Sophomores Dowell and Nicole Lehrmann recorded back-to-back 9.9s, while senior McKenzie Wofford tallied a 9.875 in the No. 5 spot. Nichols anchored with a perfect 10.0.

At the halfway point, OU held a 98.825-98.525 lead over Michigan after recording a 49.300 on vault, while the Wolverines posted a 49.325 on bars. Dowell and Jackson anchored the event with scores of 9.9. Senior Charity Jones opened the rotation with a season-high-matching 9.875, while freshman Jade Degouveia tallied a 9.825 in the fourth position. Capps and freshman Alex Marks both recorded 9.8s.

"We need to land better," Kindler said. "We knew this third meet in a string of eight days would be a test, and it was."

In the third rotation, OU scored a 49.300 on floor, while Michigan tallied a 49.375 on beam to close the margin to 148.125-147.900. Jones opened the event with a 9.825, and after a couple of uncharacteristically low marks, the Sooners closed strong on the event. Senior Nicole Turner recorded a season-high 9.85 in the No. 4 spot, while Capps contributed a 9.9 in the fifth position. As the anchor, Jackson posted a big 9.95, her fifth straight meet of scoring at least a 9.95 on floor.

"Our team was in a tight spot going into beam with a very slight lead," Kindler said. "It's these situations that will make them grow and prepare them to fight down the road."

The Sooners looked poised on beam, posting a 49.450 on the apparatus to secure the victory as the Wolverines closed the gap with a 49.625 on floor. Capps came in clutch and sealed OU’s win with a 10.0 in the anchor position, while junior Natalie Brown posted a solid 9.9 in the No. 4 spot. Jones led off on the event with a 9.875, and Catour contributed a 9.85. Both Lehrmann and Jackson tallied 9.825s, which matched a career best for Jackson.

Next weekend, the Sooners conclude their regular season slate with a contest at No. 19 California. The meet is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT on Sunday, March 12, in Berkeley, Calif. The meet will air on the Pac-12 Networks.



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