NCAA Competition Begins in Athens
No. 1 Oklahoma at NCAA Athens Regional
April 5 | 6 p.m. CT | Athens, Ga. | Stegeman Coliseum
NOTES AND NUMBERS FOR MEET 14
WIN AND ADVANCE
On Friday, the Sooners will look to continue their NCAA Regional success under head coach K.J. Kindler. Since 2010, the Sooners own nine consecutive regional championships and 36 individual event championships. In the 2019 NCAA Athens Regional, the Sooners will face No. 16 California, Maryland and the winner of a North Carolina State/New Hampshire dual meet. The other session of the regional features No. 8 Georgia, No. 9 Kentucky, Missouri and Iowa State. With the new changes to regional formats, should the Sooners be one of the top two teams on Friday, they will advance to Saturday’s regional final.
CHANGES TO THE POSTSEASON
The journey to the NCAA Championships will have a new format in 2019, starting with four eight-team regionals in place of six six-team regionals. Taking place over three days, nine teams will travel to regional sites, with seven automatically advancing to day two. Two teams at each site will compete in a play-in on the first day.
On the second day, eight teams will compete in two sessions of four, and the top two in each of those sessions will advance to the next day. On the final day, four teams will compete in one session, and the top two teams will advance to the finals site. The new format will reduce the number of teams at the NCAA Championships from 12 to eight. Four teams will compete in each semifinal, with the top two in each semifinal advancing to the final night, replacing the Super Six with the Final Four. The 2019 NCAA Championships will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas, April 19-20.
2018 REGIONAL RECAP
Last year, OU captured the NCAA Minneapolis Regional with a 198.000. For the second consecutive season, the Sooners posted the highest regional score in the nation. Nicole Lehrmann took home top honors on bars (9.950), while Maggie Nichols secured a regional title on beam (10.0), floor (9.975), and the all-around (39.775).
Seven members of the gymnastics squad combined to earn a program-best 16 regular season All-America honors from the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA). In the seven years that regular season All-America accolades have been awarded, the Sooners have totaled double-digit honors six times. Seniors Brenna Dowell and Nicole Lehrmann, juniors Jade Degouveia and Maggie Nichols, sophomores Anastasia Webb and Carly Woodard and freshman Olivia Trautman all received recognition from the association. Dowell led the way with four accolades, including her first all-around recognition.
QUEENS OF THE HILL
After starting the season at No. 2, the Sooners wasted no time taking back the top spot in the rankings, claiming the No. 1 ranking after the first weekend. OU did not relinquish its No. 1 ranking all season, marking the eighth straight year the Sooners have finished within the top two of the regular season national rankings based on national qualifying score. The Sooners entered the postseason as the No. 1 overall seed for the fifth consecutive season.
RETURNING REGIONAL CHAMPS
Of the Sooners on the 2019 squad, two have won at least one individual regional title. Senior Nicole Lehrmann won the beam title as a freshman in 2016 before adding a bars title in 2018. Junior Maggie Nichols has won seven, including two on beam, two on floor, two in the all-around and one on vault.
IN GOOD COMPANY
OU is one of only five teams in the nation to advance to the NCAA Championships every season since 2004, along with Alabama, Florida, LSU and Utah. OU will try to extend that streak with a top-two finish in Saturday’s Regional meet.
|MATCHUPS AT A GLANCE|
|OU||CAL||MARYLAND||NC STATE||NEW HAMPSHIRE|
|Ranking||No. 1||No. 16||No.28||No. 31||No. 34|
MADE IT EIGHT
On March 23, the Sooners captured an unprecedented eighth consecutive Big 12 Championship title. After a fall and out-of-bounds mark opened the door for Denver to possibly take the victory, OU received fantastic performances from senior Brenna Dowell and freshman Olivia Trautman on floor to clinch the meet. OU now holds 17 conference titles (five Big Eight, 11 Big 12) in its program history and 11 Big 12 titles under 13th-year head coach K.J. Kindler.
BEST IN SHOW
The Sooners took home three individual titles at the Big 12 Championship. Junior Maggie Nichols captured the beam title and a share of bars, while freshman Olivia Trautman earned the floor title. Nichols’ title on bars marked the fifth-straight season a Sooner has taken home a championship on the event, while her beam title was the 11th in the last 12 years. Trautman won floor with a 9.975, the highest score on the event since Richelle Simpson of Nebraska won with a perfect 10.
Brenna Dowell has been named one of six finalists for the prestigious AAI Award, recognizing the most outstanding senior female gymnast in the country. The honor is voted on by NCAA women’s gymnastics head coaches and sponsored by American Athletic, Inc. (AAI).
The AAI Award is considered one of the highest honors given in the sport of women’s gymnastics. Dowell is Oklahoma’s eighth consecutive finalist for the award, joining Megan Ferguson (2012), Brie Olson (2013), Taylor Spears (2014), Erica Brewer (2015), Haley Scaman (2016), Chayse Capps (2017) and AJ Jackson (2018).
Dowell is joined by five additional finalists including Alicia Boren (Florida), Sarah Finnegan (LSU), Olivia Karas (Michigan), Katelyn Ohashi (UCLA) and Toni-Ann Williams (Cal).
Of the nation’s top totals, the Sooners boast three in the top five and five in the top 10 this season. OU holds the No. 2 spot with a 198.325, the No. 4 spot with a 198.275 and the No. 5 spot with a 198.200. The Sooners are the only team with three scores over 198.200 this season. OU also boasts the eighth-best score this season with a 198.075 and ninth-best with a 198.050.
Below is a breakdown of the Sooners’ individual scores on each event this season, including totals of at least 9.85, 9.9 and 9.95.
VAULT At least 9.85 (62) | 9.9 (33) | 9.95 (10)
BARS At least 9.85 (67) | 9.9 (47) | 9.95 (14)
BEAM At least 9.85 (60) | 9.9 (35) | 9.95 (12)
FLOOR At least 9.85 (59) | 9.9 (38) | 9.95 (17)
OU has showcased the depth it has on its roster with 14 Sooners appearing in at least one lineup or performing an exhibition routine. Seniors Brenna Dowell (AA), Nicole Lehrmann (VT, UB, BB) and Alex Marks (UB), juniors Jade Degouveia (VT, FX), Maggie Nichols (AA) and Bre Showers (AA), sophomores Jordan Draper (FX), Evy Schoepfer (BB, VT), Karrie Thomas (UB, BB), Carly Woodard (BB) and Anastasia Webb (AA) and freshmen Emma LaPinta (FX), Allie Stern (VT, FX) and Olivia Trautman (AA) have all competed. Senior Ashley Hiller (BB) has performed in exhibition.
- Twelve of OU’s scores this season are currently in the top 10 in program history including three team totals, three vault and bar totals, two floor totals and one beam total. OU set a program record on both bars and floor this season with a 49.725 and 49.825, respectively.
- Senior Brenna Dowell, junior Jade Degouveia and freshman Olivia Trautman were honored at the Big 12 Championship with yearly awards. Dowell was named the 2019 Big 12 Gymnast of the Year, her second major honor after earning Newcomer of the Year in 2015. Degouveia captured her first major honor being named the Event Specialist of the Year after having an outstanding year as a vault and floor specialist. Trautman was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, joining teammates Dowell, Maggie Nichols and Anastasia Webb as current Sooners who have earned the honor.
- Five current Sooners have recorded at least one 10.0 in their careers, including seniors Nicole Lehrmann (UB, 2017, 2018) and Brenna Dowell (UB, 2017; VT 2018, 2019), junior Maggie Nichols (VT, UB, BB, FX), sophomore Anastasia Webb (BB, 2018) and freshman Olivia Trautman (FX, 2019).
Should the Sooners be one of the top two teams in Session 2, they will advance to Saturday's regional final at 6 p.m. CT, facing the top two teams from Session 1. The top two placing teams from each regional final will advance to the 2019 NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas on April 19 and 20. Should the Sooners advance, they will be in Semifinal II on April 19 at 6 p.m. CT and paired up with the winners of the NCAA Corvallis Regional.