Sooners Are Ready to Compete for NCAA Championships

Posted by Gilbert Sam on 1:50 PM
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IN THE GYM: NOTES AND NUMBERS FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

1. BRING ON BIRMINGHAM
The Oklahoma Sooners are ready to arrive: the No. 2-seeded OU women’s gymnastics team is set to compete in the program’s 14th NCAA Championships appearance on April 18-20 in Birmingham, Ala. OU will compete in Semifinal I (afternoon session) on Friday, April 18 at 1 p.m. CT alongside No. 3 LSU, No. 6 Georgia, No. 7 Michigan, No. 10 Stanford and No. 11 Illinois. A top-three finish in Semifinal I will advance the Sooners to the program’s fourth Super Six since 2010 while giving the squad a shot at an NCAA team championship.

2. IN PRIME CONDITION
“Peaking at the right time” is a phrase oft-uttered in the NCAA gymnastics postseason, but rarely given context. For Oklahoma, the context is closer to this: the Sooners will head into NCAA competition having posted three of the team’s top five scores this season over the course of the last four meets. OU has also returned two major players on its roster from mid-season injuries and has gone 24-for-24 in its last two consecutive meets (prior to that, OU had gone 24-for-24 only once in 2014).

3. VICTORIOUS VAULTERS
The Sooner vaulting corps has risen to new levels this season under the leadership of assistant coach Lou Ball, with the entire lineup competing at the highest level of any group in program history. Since March 9, OU has posted the four highest vault totals in program history (49.700, 49.625, 49.575 twice). The previous high of 49.575 had stood since 2002. In total, OU has posted five of the top six vault scores in the program’s record books this season alone.

4. SHINING IN THE SUPER SIX
Oklahoma made the program’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Super Six team finals in 2010, finishing as national runners-up with a 197.250. The 2010 campaign was a launching point for the Oklahoma women’s gymnastics program: the team has logged three total Super Six appearances and has finished no lower than seventh in the years since. OU logged a third-place effort in 2011 and earned its third top-three finish in four years last season. The 2013 team finished as NCAA Runner-Up with a 197.375, the highest NCAA Championship score in program history.

5. DON’T MISS A MOMENT
Fans will have opportunities to follow OU on multiple platforms during NCAA Championship competition. In addition to live stats and updates from Oklahoma’s Twitter page, all three sessions of team competition and Sunday’s event finals will be carried live on ESPN3 (watchespn.com). Fans must only sign in with their cable or satellite provider credentials to watch every round of competition online. In addition, the Super Six team finals will be broadcast on ESPNU via tape delay on April 30 at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT).

NUMBER TO WATCH
49.700...When the chalk had settled at the 2014 NCAA Minneapolis Regional, no team shone more brightly on vault than OU. The Sooners soared to new heights on the event, posting a program-record 49.700 with no score below a 9.9 throughout the rotation. The 49.700 score is the highest on any individual event in OU program history. The Oklahoma vaulting corps has posted the top four vault scores in program history since March 9, including efforts of 49.700, 49.625 and 49.575.

COACH KINDLER ON COMPETING IN ALABAMA
"We love competing there. I hope that fans will come out for that first session as well. This is an extremely deep group. There are amazing gymnasts on every team and you're going to see some of the best that you've seen in many years. We're definitely looking forward to competing in Alabama."

/// SoonerSports PR


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