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USA National Team 2010, 2011, 2012
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Bumbo Cup, South Africa - 2010 (1st Bars & Beam, 2nd All-Around, 3rd Vault)
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(2nd Bars, 8th All-Around)
NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma women's gymnastics head coach K.J. Kindler announced the program's newest recruiting class on Wednesday.
Chayse Capps, Reagan Hemry, Charity Jones, Kara Lovan and McKenzie Wofford will join the Sooners in the fall of 2013 as one of the strongest recruiting classes in program history.
"This is one of the largest and most accomplished classes we have ever welcomed to the Sooner gymnastics family," Kindler said. "In total, they will contribute to our team immediately and will have a strong impact on the strength of our program. As a class, they will positively impact all four events - on vault they have power, on bars they are strong swingers, their beam composition is solid and beautiful and their tumbling and dance on floor are all superb."
As a class, the group has won multiple international, Junior Olympic and Regional titles in addition to boasting Oklahoma and Texas state champions.
"Their strength of character and their commitment to the sport of gymnastics will be an asset to the future of our program," Kindler continued. "These athletic, graceful and accomplished women are going to be a blast for our Sooner fans to watch for the next four years."
Capps, a native of Dallas, is a Level 10 gymnast who trains at Infinite Bounds under Cindy Dove, Tiffany Chandler and Larry McDonough. She recently placed second on the vault and 10th in the all-around at the 2012 Junior Olympic National Championships.
"Chayse performed a Yurchenko 1.5 which is a rare and difficult vault in the NCAA," Kindler said.
In finals at the Kurt Thomas Invitational last February, Capps scored a 10.0 on beam and added a 9.95 on bars on her way to the all-around title.
"There is a sense of beauty and grace about Chayse when she competes," Kindler added. "She is captivating and intriguing and will add a great deal of style to the Sooner squad. Her ability to perform will draw the crowd in. She is a strong all-around competitor and we project she will contribute on all four events.
In addition to gymnastics, Capps also dances competitively, earning multiple first place awards for her solo performances.
"Beyond gymnastics, Chayse is an outgoing and vivacious spirit. She approaches new people and situations with a smile and a conversation. I am excited to see her under the lights of the Lloyd Noble Center on competition night."
From Norman, Okla., Hemry placed third in the all-around and beam and second on bars at the 2012 Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament in May.
"One thing that stands out to me about Reagan is her love for Crimson and Cream and all that is Oklahoma," Kindler said. "She grew up in Norman, literally down the street, and trains under the tutelage of the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy owned by famous Sooner alum Bart Conner. She was very honest from the get go that OU was where she wanted to spend her college years and that contributing on the women's gymnastics would be a dream realized for her."
Hemry is coached by Christian Ivanov and former OU gymnast Coral Borda. She scored a personal-best 9.600 on bars to take fourth at the Region III Championships after placing in the top three in all four events at the 2012 Oklahoma State Championships to finish second place in the all-around.
"I know Reagan's passion and drive will motivate her teammates. I know she is elated to be a Sooner and I have no doubt that she will contribute to our team in every facet."
A Level 10 gymnast from Oklahoma City, Jones is a two-time Junior Olympic Championships all-around champion, a three-time Oklahoma state champion and the defending Region III champion and Nastia Liukin Cup champion.
"Charity trains at Dynamo in Oklahoma City and will follow a legacy of Dynamo athletes who have become Sooners," Kindler said.
Training under Dennis and Shannon Harrison in 2012, Jones became the first Oklahoman to win the coveted Nastia Liukin Cup at Madison Square Garden in New York City, finishing second on vault, bars and beam to finish tops with a 38.075 all-around score.
Jones followed up her performance in New York City by sweeping the Oklahoma State Championships, taking the all-around title and all four event titles. She would go on to win the Region III Championships, finishing in the top two in every event, before putting together a dominant performance at the Junior Olympic Championships. Jones earned vault and floor titles on her way to taking the all-around championship with a score of 38.525.
Jones was named the Region III Gymnast of the Year and was the Shannon Miller Award winner as the top gymnast from the state of Oklahoma.
"Charity is an aggressive competitor with a killer instinct. She is the type of athlete that when put in a pinch she will always come through. She boasts extremely difficult skills on every event. I expect her to be a true leader on the competitive floor and a hometown favorite for our Sooner fans."
Lovan, from Des Moines, Iowa, is also a Level 10 gymnast who trains at Triad Gymnastics under Tom and Donna Moretti. Lovan is a two-time Junior Elite and competed in the 2009 U.S. Classic, placing eighth on the beam.
"Smooth and effortless is the best way to describe Kara's gymnastics," Kindler said. "What astonishes me is the fact that each time I see her, she gets better and better and I become more impressed with her. She is particularly beautiful on balance beam and bars, but don't let that small package fool you. She can also execute a great vault and powerful tumbling."
Lovan was the Region IV all-around, beam and floor champion in 2011, was the Iowa state champion and has competed in multiple Junior Olympic National Championships. An event finalist at the Northern Lights Invitational in 2012, Kindler stated that Lovan will undoubtedly be a four-event gymnast at OU.
"She was our first commitment of the 2013 class and set the tone for the strength of this class. She appears quiet at first, but in getting to know her you realize she is witty and chatty. Her consistent work ethic and determined soul will help push her limits as a Sooner."
Wofford is a Senior International Elite gymnast who has been a member of the United States National Team for the past three years. From McKinney, Texas, Wofford trains at Zenith Elite under Tatiana Schegolkova and has competed both nationally and internationally.
"McKenzie is an incredible catch for the Sooners," Kindler said. "She is amazing on all four events and is one of the most impeccable bar swingers I have ever seen. Her talent is immeasurable on this event and there is truly no skill she cannot master; she has so many skills in her bag that it will be a challenge to select her sequences."
In 2010 Wofford traveled to South Africa for the Bumbo Cup, an international competition where she earned second in the all-around and floor and took first on uneven bars & balance beam.
Wofford moved into the senior ranks in 2011 and began competing for Zenith Elite Gymnastics. At the 2011 CoverGirl Classic she finished fourth. A foot fracture at the 2011 VISA Championships in podium training cut short her season, but Wofford later came back from the injury to earn a spot as a Pan Am Games Senior National Team alternate.
"McKenzie's experience at the very top level in the country will be extremely valuable. On top of it all, McKenzie's enthusiasm about Sooner gymnastics and her upcoming college experience is contagious. I honestly feel her eagerness each time we speak and we cannot wait to get her here on campus."
OU inspires champions today and prepares leaders for tomorrow by enabling its student-athletes to achieve their highest academic, athletic and personal aspirations. The OU Athletics Department sponsors 21 varsity sports with more than 600 student-athletes and is completely self-supporting.
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