|Vault||AJ Jackson (OU), Maggie Nichols (OU)||9.95|
|Bars||Elizabeth Price (Stanford)||9.975|
|Beam||Chayse Capps (OU), Maggie Nichols (OU)||9.95|
|Floor||Maggie Nichols (OU)||9.95|
|AA||Maggie Nichols (OU)||39.750|
|OU Team Highs|
|Vault||AJ Jackson, Maggie Nichols||9.95|
|Beam||Chayse Capps, Maggie Nichols||9.95|
SEATTLE — The Sooners are moving on.
The No. 1 Oklahoma women's gymnastics team continued its recent regional success, claiming its eighth straight regional crown on Saturday. The Sooners finished in first place at the NCAA Seattle Regional with a score of 198.075 inside Alaska Airlines Arena.
With the first-place finish, the Sooners advance to the NCAA Championships for the 14th consecutive season and 17th time overall. The meet marked the fifth time the Sooners have scored at least a 198 this season, the most in program history. The score also stands as the highest in the nation in regional competition this year.
No. 13 Washington finished in second place with a 196.550 and will advance to the national meet with the Sooners. No. 12 Kentucky took third with a 196.200, while Stanford finished fourth with a 195.575. BYU claimed fifth place (195.025) and No. 24 Utah State placed sixth (194.850).
The Sooners posted the highest team total on each event and snagged at least a share of four individual titles, all with scores of 9.95. On vault, junior AJ Jackson and freshman Maggie Nichols shared the top honor. Nichols and senior Chayse Capps finished first on beam, while Nichols also claimed the top spot on floor and secured the all-around title with a 39.750. Stanford’s Elizabeth Price won bars with a 9.975.
Additionally, the Sooners swept the South Central Region of the Year awards, with Nichols recognized as the gymnast of the year, K.J. Kindler as the head coach of the year and Lou Ball and Tom Haley as the co-assistant coaches of the year.
The Sooners opened the meet on bars, counting five scores of at least 9.875 to score a 49.550, tied for their fifth highest score of the season.
Wofford paced OU with a stuck landing and a 9.95 in the fifth spot. As the second competitor, junior Stefani Catour matched her career high with a 9.925, while sophomore Nicole Lehrmann and Nichols contributed marks of 9.9. Sophomore Brenna Dowell scored a 9.875 for her routine.
“Amazing start on bars," Kindler said. "We had a rough touch, some crazy things were happening, but our team’s tough. They got it together and performed excellent. Stefani Catour bringing in that 9.925 was huge for her, an unbelievable performance from her. Then McKenzie with that 9.95 at the end of the lineup and Maggie, of course, solid all the way through. Bars was great.”
OU carried its hot start into the second rotation, recording a 49.500 on beam. The score is the fifth highest for the Sooners on the event this season.
Senior Charity Jones opened on beam with a 9.825, followed by a pair of 9.85s from Lehrmann and Catour. In the No. 4 spot, junior Natalie Brown posted a 9.9, and Nichols and Capps concluded with identical marks of 9.95.
“We just nailed those dismounts ... It was just a really flawless performance on beam from top to bottom,” Kindler said.
The Sooners came out of their bye strong, posting a 49.450 on floor. In her first appearance on the event since Feb. 17, Nichols recorded a meet-high 9.95. Capps contributed a 9.9 as the fourth competitor, while Jones and Dowell both scored 9.875s. Jackson anchored with a 9.85 for OU.
“Coming out on floor out of that bye I thought they did a good job staying warm," Kindler said. "Had a couple of little things, we definitely can make some improvements there on a couple of landings, but really great.”
On vault, the Sooners did not let up, rolling to a season-high 49.575 behind a pair of 9.95s from Jackson and Nichols to anchor the rotation. Sophomore Alex Marks set the tone with a solid 9.85, while freshman Jade Degouveia added the same mark in the third position. Capps tallied a 9.9, while Dowell contributed a 9.925. The score is also tied for the third best on the event in program history.
“Vault was the star of the show as far as I’m concerned," Kindler said. "Amazing landings. We’ve been trying to get there all season long, looks like we have arrived. I know Coach Ball was extremely happy with that performance.”
Oklahoma and Washington advance to the 2017 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Mo., on April 14 and 15. The Sooners are the No. 1 overall seed and will contend for the program's seventh Super Six appearance when they compete in Semifinal I on April 14.