NORMAN, Okla. -- The cold and snow couldn't deter a large crowd of OU fans from flocking to the Sam Viersen Gymnastics Center to take in the annual Oklahoma women's gymnastics preseason intrasquad. The Sooners previewed new routines on all four events in a live meet setting with two judges per event.
"We were extremely happy with how the team performed," head coach K.J. Kindler said. "We performed eight routines on all four events and hit 31 of those 32 routines--that's pretty good. I could see a little bit of fatigue setting in at the end; it's a long day for the team and it's about getting back into meet shape. We work hard, but it's a little different in a true meet setting."
OU kicked off the evening on vault, debuting a lineup stacked with outstanding young talent. The Sooners shone on the event with mid-season level scores, including a team-high 9.9 from sophomore Keeley Kmieciak. Defending Big 12 vault champion Maile'ana Kanewa picked up a 9.875, while returning vault All-American Madison Mooring and true freshman Chayse Capps added 9.85s each.
"I was super impressed with vault," Kindler said. "We had some very big vaults with lots of amplitude, and the landings will continue to come. I felt that the scores were very realistic."
The Sooners moved to bars, where senior and returning All-American Taylor Spears led the way with a stellar 9.925.
"We were aggressive on bars, and that's something we've been asking for in practice," Kindler commented. "They did not hold back, and I was very happy with that. We had two great alternate performances as well; we are very deep on that event."
The upperclassmen led the way on beam, performing solid routines to lead Kindler's talented lineup. Mooring, Rebecca Clark and Erica Brewer paced the squad with 9.875 performances, while Spears added a 9.85 in the anchor position.
"We were very solid on beam," Kindler said. "I believe we only had one wobble within our lineup. We had a couple people doing some newly constructed routines, but the girls were aggressive and they got the jitters out to compete the way they practice."
The squad closed on floor, performing new routines and beautiful choreography in front of their audience. Spears didn't miss a beat, posting her second 9.925 routine of the evening. Mooring added a 9.85, while Lara Albright and Haley Scaman picked up 9.825 performances.
"I was really happy with floor," Kindler said. "I think we are further along on floor than we have ever been at this point in the season. We now have to focus on the details with form and landing issues. The routines were so fun and the girls performed them with a lot of energy."
The Sooners will open their 2014 campaign at home on Friday, Jan. 10 against Georgia. The meet is slated for a 7 p.m. start and is one of five home meets that OU will host this season.
Fans looking for updates on the Sooners this season can follow OU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The team posts daily updates, photos and video as they chronicle the weeks leading up to the 2014 opener.