OU Dominates West Virginia, 198.025-195.750
|Vault||Dowell (OU), Nichols (OU), Webb (OU), Koshinski (WVU)||9.950|
|Bars||Maggie Nichols (OU)||9.950|
|Beam||Maggie Nichols (OU)||9.975|
|Floor||Maggie Nichols (OU)||9.950|
|AA||Maggie Nichols (OU)||39.825|
|OU Team Highs|
|Vault||Dowell, Nichols, Webb||9.950|
NORMAN –For the fourth time this season, the No. 1 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team posted a mark of 198 or higher, dominating West Virginia, 198.025-195.750, Friday night at Lloyd Noble Center.
“It was a really strong meet top to bottom,” head coach K.J. Kindler said. “We had a lot of new people out there tonight which I am really excited about. We definitely hit a very good meet today, but we can definitely be better which is what is so exciting about it. I felt like the energy was great and I was really excited about the building of scores and the building of the team camaraderie throughout the meet. I was very happy with where they were mentally so that is exciting.”
The Sooners are the only team in the nation to post more than two marks of 198 or higher this season and have posted four over their last five meets.
“I think we are just building our depth right now,” Kindler said. “I think a 198 is a benchmark score, a great score. There is no doubt about it. We’re focused on showing our landings off and making sure that we are getting better and better every week. We definitely think that we are in a good place right now.”
OU posted the top total on all four events with big marks of 49.600 (beam) and 49.550 (vault), while adding a solid 49.475 on bars and a 49.400 on floor. Individually, OU secured at least a share of every event title.
For the first time this season, the Sooners had three athletes competing all-around. Sophomore Maggie Nichols took home the all-around title with a stellar 39.825. Junior Nicole Lehrmann made her career debut on floor and in the all-around, tallying a 39.475 for the Sooners. Freshman Anastasia Webb came in second for the meet with a 39.575.
“We haven’t had three all-arounders in a very long time so that is pretty interesting,” Kindler said. “We definitely had a lot of different people contributing. It is hard when you do all four events, you have that constant ‘go go go’. Week after week Anastasia and Maggie have pretty much been doing it. It is good to kind of spread that around a little bit and have Nico join the group. Her first all-around score of all-time was a 39. 475, which is pretty good for your first all-around.”
Starting out on vault, the Sooners put up three scores of at least 9.95, leading to their second-highest vault score of the season. Webb set her career high on the apparatus with a 9.95 on her beautiful Omelianchik. Junior Brenna Dowell also tallied a 9.950, sticking the landing on her powerful Yurchenko 1.5. Anchoring was Nichols, who posted a 9.950 with a Yurchenko 1.5 of her own.
One of four 10.0 start values in the lineup, senior AJ Jackson added a 9.850 in the No. 4 spot. Lerhmann also added a 9.850 in the No. 2 spot.
OU put up a 49.475 on bars to take a 99.025-97.625 lead after two rotations. Nichols took home the event title with a 9.95 in the anchor spot, tying her season high. Dowell looked strong in the No. 4 spot, matching her season high 9.925.
Lehrmann added to her all-around score with a 9.900 in the No. 5 spot. Seniors Stefani Catour and Jackson added solid 9.850s to pace the Sooners in the second rotation.
The Sooners were back to showing why their the beam queens, putting up a huge 49.600, their second highest score this season. OU counted four scores of 9.9 or higher, helping extend their lead to a 148.625-146.725 after three rotations. Lehrmann’s unique mount and grace throughout her routine earned her a 9.9 in the No. 3 spot. Senior Natalie Brown, competing for just the second time this season, was beautiful in the No. 4 spot, matching Lehrmann’s score of 9.9.
Webb and Nichols anchored with huge scores for the Sooners. Webb looked like a veteran in the No. 5 spot, showing off her grace and poise and sticking her landing for a 9.950. Nichols upped her difficulty, adding in her front tuck, and nailed her roundoff 1.5 dismount for a team-high 9.975.
OU closed out the meet with a solid 49.400 on floor, pushing them over the 198 mark once again. Showers and Dowell led off with back-to-back 9.875s to get the Sooners rolling. Showers’ choreography was on point and Dowell’s tumbling was powerful as always.
Lehrmann rounded out her all-around performance with a strong 9.825 in her first ever appearance on floor. Webb added a 9.875 on floor to take second in the all-around with a 39.575. Nichols anchored with a huge 9.950 as she had the crowd on their feet during her energetic and upbeat performance.
“It was definitely really exciting,” Lehrmann said. “I have not done floor or exhibitioned it, so I didn’t know what to expect but it was definitely a really exciting thing for me. I really went out there and tried to enjoy it and enjoy all the other events.”
OU is back in action Saturday, March 3, at 3:45 p.m. to take on Michigan at the Lloyd Noble Center.
“The crowd tonight was really good,” Brown said. “We feed off the energy. We want everyone in Norman to come out to our meets because we work really hard in the gym and we want to show them what we’ve been doing. We’re the number one ranked team so that should be the reason they should come out and watch us.”