Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gymnastics: NCAA Championships Awarded to Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma strives to create a championship atmosphere for its student-athletes, fans and surrounding communities. In the upcoming years, the goal will prove even truer as the NCAA has recently selected OU as host for several championship events.

In 2015, OU will host the men’s gymnastics national championship and a women’s gymnastics regional championship at the Lloyd Noble Center. Oklahoma also co-hosts the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Oklahoma City Regional with the OKC All-Sports Association.

“Ultimately the sites that were selected will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans the best experience possible,” Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances, said.

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Additionally, Oklahoma is the host of the 2014 wrestling national championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena in March.

"Hosting the NCAA tournament this year will be important to our program in a number of ways,” OU head wrestling coach Mark Cody said. “Many of my coaching colleagues believed that, in the past, when the University of Oklahoma has hosted the NCAA Championships it was always a great event. The Chesapeake Energy Arena is a wonderful facility, and it's also conveniently located with several hotels and restaurants within walking distance. And it surely doesn't hurt our team to have the hometown advantage.”

The Sooners took third in the NCAA Championships when it was lasted hosted in Oklahoma City in 2006.

“Hosting this tournament should help us in many areas, such as fan support and recruiting. It will also give us a big boost having our fans front and center."

The Lloyd Noble Center will host the men’s gymnastics national championship April 9-11, 2015, providing a home advantage for the Sooners, one of the nation’s powerhouse programs.

“I am so pleased that Oklahoma was successful in its bid to host the 2015 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships,” OU head men’s gymnastics coach Mark Williams said. “As always, I expect to make every effort to put our program in the mix for competing for national championship. I look forward to the challenge and the support of the Oklahoma fan base.”

After hosting in 2013, OU women’s gymnastics will also see a regional championship return to its home floor April 4, 2015. The Sooners have won four straight regional championships and reached their best finish in the NCAA Championships, second, last year.

Said OU head women’s gymnastics coach K.J. Kindler: “Hosting this prestigious event is a testament to the commitment of OU! It is an honor to showcase the best of the best of our sport right here Norman.”

A women’s basketball regional will take place March 28-31, 2015, at Chesapeake Energy Arena. It will be the third regional awarded to Oklahoma City in a seven-year span. OU swept through the two rounds en route to a 2009 Final Four appearance and then conquered a season of adversity of reach the Sweet 16 again last season.

“The energy that Sooner fans provide is truly spectacular,” OU head coach Sherri Coale said. “An when Oklahoma teams are playing in front of Oklahomans, on a national stage, it magnifies tenfold. It’s just a blessing and an honor to have such wonderful support and have the opportunity to showcase our teams in front of our hometown fans.”

/// SoonerSports PR
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