Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team has been picked No. 1 in the preseason coaches poll, released Tuesday. The Sooners received 29 first-place votes in the ranking.
"What a great compliment for our athletes and our program," 10th-year OU head coach K.J. Kindler said.
OU (2,266 points) sits 32 points ahead of No. 2 Florida (2,234 points) in the standings. Alabama (No. 3), Utah (No. 4) and LSU (No. 5) round out the top five spots of the poll.
This season’s poll marks the sixth straight year that the Sooners have been ranked in the top five nationally to begin the season. OU was slated No. 2 in 2015, No. 3 in 2014 and No. 4 in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
OU has now opened 11 consecutive seasons ranked in the top 10 nationally and the last 16 years ranked in the top 25. The Sooners have been ranked in the preseason top 10 every season under Kindler.
Overall, 17 of OU’s 19 regular-season opponents are ranked in the preseason poll, including six squads slated in the top 10 nationally and 11 within the top 25.
The Sooners will open the season at No. 5 LSU at 4 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 9, in Baton Rouge, La. At the Metroplex Challenge on Jan. 30, OU will again face LSU as well as another top-10 opponent in No. 8 Stanford. The Sooners are also slated to compete against No. 9 Georgia (Feb. 20), No. 10 Auburn (Feb. 5 in Denton, Texas) and No. 6 UCLA (March 13) in road matches.
In its home contests, OU will take on six ranked competitors in No. 14 California (Jan. 15), No. 28 Iowa State and No. 36 Arizona State (Jan. 22), No. 31 West Virginia (Feb. 7) and No. 7 Michigan (Feb. 26) and No. 18 Arizona (March 4). Fans can purchase season tickets and reserve their seats now for the top-ranked Sooners’ five meets inside the Lloyd Noble Center.
The Sooners welcome back eight previous All-America gymnasts and return 16 routines from last season’s team that won its fourth straight Big 12 Championship, claimed its sixth consecutive NCAA regional title and finished third at the NCAA Championships.
/// SoonerSports PR
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