Sooners Celebrate 2018 at Annual Banquet
NORMAN- The Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team honored its own at its annual banquet Friday night at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
The Sooners are coming off a season that ended with a national runner-up finish at the 2018 Super Six in St. Louis, Mo. Brenna Dowell and Maggie Nichols combined for four individual national titles and eight Sooners earned 16 All-America honors. OU secured an unprecedented seventh straight Big 12 title and a ninth consecutive NCAA Regional crown.
Dowell was named the Most Outstanding Athlete after a phenomenal junior season. Dowell was the Co-Vault National Champion, while also earning first team All-America honors on vault and second team All-America honors on floor. She was the Big 12 Co-Floor Champion and a two-time All-Big 12 honoree on vault and floor. Dowell scored the first perfect 10 of the season for the Sooners with a 10.0 on vault at UCLA.
Nichols was awarded the Kelly Garrison Award, given to the most valuable athlete on the competition floor. Nichols is a three-time NCAA individual champion in the all-around, bars and floor. She is also the NCAA runner-up on beam, a five-time All-American and the first gymnast in NCAA history to record a “Gym Slam” twice in her career. Nichols was the South Central Region Gymnast of the Year, Big 12 Gymnast of the Year, a two-time Big 12 individual champion (all-around, floor), a five-time All-Big 12 honoree, and a Honda Award Finalist.
Anastasia Webb was named the Freshman of the Year. Also named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Webb turned in a remarkable freshman season that resulted in first-team All-America honors on floor at the NCAA Championships. She was just the third freshman in program history to record a perfect 10 on any event (beam at UCLA) and notched a career-high of at least 9.95 on every event. She was the Big 12 Co-Floor Champion, an All-Big 12 honoree on floor and a seven-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week recipient.
Nicole Lehrmann was honored with the OU Most Improved Award, given to an athlete that has demonstrated improvement in their gymnastics development from August through May. Lehrmann, who competed just two events in 2017, debuted in the all-around for the first time in her career, notching a career-high 39.675 in the process. She was the Big 12 Bars Champion, finished third nationally on bars and recorded a 9.9 or higher in 14 consecutive meets in 2018.
Bre Showers was named the NCAA Tournament MVP for her incredible performances at the NCAA Championships. Showers, who made her debut in 2018 after being sidelined by injury in 2017, had only competed in the all-around twice during the season before competing it in both the semifinals and Super Six. She scored a career high on both vault and bars at the national meet to help the Sooners to a runner-up finish.
Samantha Craus was awarded the Bonomo Spirit Award, given to the athlete who is the spirit of the team and has an amazing influence on her teammates. Craus suffered a career-ending injury in preseason but made it her mission to contribute in ways other than on the competition equipment. According to her teammates, she will do anything for anyone and is the backbone that holds the team together.
Stefani Catour was named the Most Consistent Gymnast after putting together an incredible senior season. A second-team All-American on bars and beam, Catour was named the Big 12 Event Specialist of the Year. Week after week she turned in strong performances to help the Sooners, including setting a career-high on bars with a 9.95 at the Big 12 Championships.
Most Outstanding Athlete: Brenna Dowell
Kelly Garrison Award (MVP): Maggie Nichols
Most Outstanding Freshman: Anastasia Webb
OU Commitment Award: Nicole Lehrmann
NCAA Tournament MVP: Bre Showers
Bonomo Spirit Award: Samantha Craus
Most Consistent Gymnast: Stefani Catour