Oklahoma Gymnastics Wins Fourth Straight Big 12 Title
NORMAN, Oklahoma - Mark it down: four in a row.
Massive rotations on floor and beam powered the No. 1 Oklahoma women's gymnastics team to a 197.875 and its fourth consecutive conference title. OU is now the first-ever Big 12 program to win four straight conference crowns.
West Virginia took second in the meet with a 195.025, and Iowa State was fourth with a 194.775.
Following the conclusion of the meet, Big 12 yearly awards were announced as well. Haley Scaman captured her second consecutive Big 12 Gymnast of the Year accolade, while Ali Jackson was named Event Specialist of the Year and Brenna Dowell earned Newcomer of the Year honors.
Head coach K.J. Kindler was also recognized as the conference's coach of the year, marking the ninth Big 12 Coach of the Year honor of her career.
The Sooners claimed individual conference crowns on all four apparatuses, including a tie for top honors on beam from Erica Brewer and Chayse Capps. The pair each earned 9.975 scores to share the top of the podium.
Jackson took home the conference title on vault with a 9.925 and Brenna Dowell was named floor champion with a 9.95. Rebecca Clark shared first on bars with ISU's Caitlin Brown as the duo each posted 9.9 efforts.
OU opened on a strong note on vault, flying to a 49.425 behind Jackson's meet-best 9.925 effort in the No. 5 spot. Capps hit a big 9.9 alongside a 9.9 from Scaman, while Keeley Kmieciak and Dowell each added solid 9.85s at the front of the lineup. Charity Jones stepped in the vault lineup for the first time this season, capturing a 9.8 in the lead-off spot.
West Virginia picked up a 48.500 on bars in the first rotation, while Iowa State took a 48.175 on beam. Oklahoma's lead was quick and commanding, and the Sooners would not surrender it.
The Sooners moved to uneven bars but saw several uncharacteristic miscues, battling to a 49.175 in the rotation. Senior Rebecca Clark paced OU in the lead-off position with a big hit for a 9.9. McKenzie Wofford added a 9.875 in the No. 3 position with a fluid and well-executed routine, while Keeley Kmieciak and Brenna Dowell each picked up 9.85 performances.
OU maintained its lead after two events with a 98.600. Iowa State moved up to second with a 97.225 after a 49.050 on floor and WVU earned a 49.025 to sit in third at 97.025.
It was on beam that Oklahoma would truly find its rhythm. OU exploded for a 49.650 on the event, its fourth effort of 49.500 or higher on beam this season. The squad's performance was exquisite from top-to-bottom and included four scores of 9.9 or better, including three efforts of 9.95+. Brewer and Capps led the way at the end of the lineup with 9.975 routines--each earned two 10.0s from the four judge panel.
Clark hit a career-best 9.95 on a secure and fluid routine in the No. 4 position, while Haley Sorensen showed off her incredible lines and flexibility for a 9.9. Kmieciak started OU on a strong note with a 9.85 and Kara Lovan earned a 9.775.
Oklahoma's lead moved to a 148.250 after three events. WVU slipped back up to second with a 146.025 after a 49.000 on floor. Iowa State fell to third at 145.875 following a 48.650 on vault.
The confidence moved to floor as the Sooners exploded for a 49.625 that included no score lower than a 9.9 throughout the lineup. Dowell's meet-best 9.95 came in the No. 5 position; the freshman was surrounded in the lineup by a trio of 9.925 performances from Scaman, Jackson and Lovan.
Capps moved to the lead-off position on floor and shone for a season-high 9.9 and Brewer followed in the No. 2 spot with a 9.9.
Oklahoma will host the 2015 NCAA Norman Regional on Saturday, April 4 at 3:45 p.m. in the Lloyd Noble Center. The NCAA Selection Show next Monday will reveal which five teams will join the Sooners as the programs vie for a berth in the 2015 NCAA Championship field.