St. Louis Showdown: No. 1 Oklahoma Takes On Top Teams At GymQuarters

Dinah Jean Whistler Maggie Nichols beam

The competition is stacked for the GymQuarters Invitational College Night meet in St. Charles, Missouri, on Friday, February 17. The eight-team event features No. 1 Oklahoma taking on No. 2 LSU, No. 10 Georgia, and No. 15 Missouri in an evening session, and kicks off with No. 16 Nebraska competing against No. 52 Lindenwood, No. 61 Brown, and No. 64 Seattle Pacific in a matinee session. You can watch all the action LIVE.

Not only will we get to see the top two teams in the nation battle it out at St. Charles Family Arena, but we'll also see close competition with Georgia and Missouri in the mix. Georgia is capable of hitting the 197 mark and could inch closer to LSU and Oklahoma if those teams have errors, while Mizzou is capable of outscoring UGA as well.

In the earlier matinee session, Nebraska will be the favorite to come out on top, likely followed by Lindenwood, which has continued its upward spiral by maintaining steady improvement with each meet. The Lions' two past competitions have been their best this season, notching 194.125 for a win against Texas Woman's and then a 194.100 in a quad meet the following week. Brown and Seattle Pacific are very close in the rankings as well and will likely be battling it out for the session's third-place finish.

In addition to the fierce competition, this meet is also on podium, giving some of the teams great practice for NCAA Championships in a few months, which will be held in St. Louis as well. FloGymnastics will be on site for this competition and live-streaming the meet, so be sure to check out the stream HERE on Friday. The matinee session starts at 2 PM CST, and the evening session begins at 6:15 PM CST.


As mentioned, perhaps the invitational's most intense battle will be between Oklahoma and LSU. Both teams have had phenomenal starts to their seasons and have kept the No. 1 and 2 spots in the rankings for almost the entire year. Fans will be eager to see how these two squads stack up against each other, and whether the No. 2 Tigers can overtake the top-ranked Sooners, who have not scored below 197.425 this season. LSU will be relying on its top all-around competitors -- junior Myia Hambrick and freshman Kennedi Edney -- to put up top scores against Oklahoma's top all-arounders, including senior Chayse Capps and freshman Maggie Nichols​, who is ranked No. 1 in the country right now and has scored a perfect 10.0 on every event except uneven bars so far. 


Georgia and Missouri will be another close matchup in this quad meet, and both will be competing without two of their most solid all-around scores. For UGA, sophomore Sydney Snead started off the season on fire, putting up big numbers for the Gymdogs across all four events. But a nagging back injury has surfaced, causing her to limit her numbers. Snead did compete on bars in Georgia's last competition and intends to compete vault as well this weekend, but the team will miss her on the other two events. Missouri, meanwhile, has had to make do without Morgan Porter after she suffered an Achilles tear early in the season. Fortunately, the Tigers seem to be doing well despite Porter's absence from the lineups. Freshman Aspen Tucker has been a stellar all-around competitor for the team, and sophomore Britney Ward has put up big numbers on vault and beam. 


The matinee session will also feature a tight battle, most notably between Brown and Seattle Pacific. Senior Caroline Morant is Brown's top all-around competitor and is capable of putting up high scores on beam and floor -- she scored a 9.875 on both last weekend. For Seattle Pacific, junior Ariana Harger competed all-around for the first time this season last weekend and put up a 38.325, with vault being her highest-scoring event. 

Nebraska will be expected to come out on top in this session. The Cornhuskers have four all-around competitors who contribute big numbers -- Sienna Crouse, Taylor Houchin, Jennie Laeng​, and Megan Schweihofer. The team has continued to improve all season, posting a 196.825 as its high against Iowa two weeks ago.

Another team that has continued to improve each week is Lindenwood, which will likely take the second spot behind Nebraska. Sophomore Katey Oswalt has been a key competitor for LU this year, already scoring a 9.85 on vault, beam, and floor throughout the season, as has junior Kiersten Sokolowski, who put up a 9.85 on vault and a 9.8 on floor at last weekend's quad meet.

LIVE STREAM: GymQuarters NCAA College Night
Senior Spotlight: Nebraska's Jennie Laeng

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