OU Intrasquad: Nichols Nails AA, Dowell Gets 10.0, Kindler Impressed

Release via OU Gymnastics

NORMAN, Oklahoma — In front of a packed house in the Sam Viersen Gymnastics Center, the defending national champion Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team showcased their 2018 routines at their annual intrasquad Friday night.

In a live meet setting with two judges per event, the Sooners previewed their new routines and skills on all four events. Brenna Dowell had the high score of the night with a perfect 10.0 on vault. Senior AJ Jackson and sophomore Maggie Nichols participated in the all-around, with at least seven Sooners competing on each apparatus.

“Honestly, I thought our dynamics were really good,” head coach K.J. Kindler said. “These vaults were high, they were far, they were tight. The landings were really good.

So I was just impressed overall, from top to bottom. Alternates included, it looked great.

The Sooners started off the night on a high note, recording at least a 9.9 on five of their vaults. Dowell was the highlight of the event, nailing her Yurchenko 1 1/2 for the only perfect 10 of the night.

“I mean she nailed it and did not move those feet at all,” Kindler said. “She was a rock star today on everything quite honestly, so it was great to see her do that in the first meet.”

Sophomore Bre Showers, competing her first routines as a Sooner, led off with a solid 9.9 and Nichols anchored with a 9.975.

“Both Bre and Jade (Degouveia) had limited action last year and that sophomore class, Bre, Jade and Maggie, is huge for us,” Kindler said. “They could perform 10 to 12 routines for us. I am really excited to see her (Showers) out there for the first time. She has been showing some nervousness in practice as this has been crawling up for us but today she let it all go and I am very proud of her for doing that.”

On bars, reigning co-national champion Nicole Lehrmann paced Oklahoma with a 9.925 in the No. 5 slot. The Sooners put together an impressive top-to-bottom performance with four scores of at least 9.9.

“I thought they were very aggressive on their angles,” Kindler said. “Sometimes on these first meets they hold back a little. They are a little nervous but I thought that everyone was very aggressive. Good landings again, so I am really happy with the bar lineup from top to bottom.”

In her first appearance as a Sooner, freshman Anastasia Webb put together a solid performance in the No. 2 slot for a 9.9. After not competing bars in 2017, Jackson tallied a 9.85 in the leadoff spot and Nichols anchored with a strong 9.9.

Senior Stefani Catour led off with a steady 9.9 to pace the Sooners on the event. Nichols once again anchored, tallying a team-best 9.975 after receiving a 10.0 from one of the two judges.

“Balance beam was really solid routines,” Kindler continued. “I was super impressed with Anastasia Webb. As a freshman it is very hard to get out there and nail the 9.9 right out of the gate.

She actually competed almost better than she practices sometimes so that is good to know as a coach and see.

The meet closed with the Sooners on floor, showcasing their new routines. Natalie Brown led off with a 9.875, while Nichols added a 9.95 in the No. 5 spot and Jackson anchored with a 9.9.

“I just loved getting to see them showcase their new floor routines," Kindler said. "They danced a little more aggressively today than they do in practice and they were really showing it off, making eye contact with the crowd. That is always fun to watch. That was the highlight for me, but the tumbling was great too.”

The Sooners will open the 2018 season at 1 p.m. CT on Monday, Jan. 15, in Athens, Ga. as they face Georgia in the first road contest of the season.

“We open with Georgia so it is going to be a big deal,” Kindler said. “It is going to be a huge crowd. We are so excited to be there and kind of see that new coaching staff taking over. It is going to be fun, so we are excited for that first meet and looking forward to our entire season.”

The home slate opens on Jan. 21 at 2:45 p.m. CT against Iowa State and TWU in the annual Beauty and the Beast meet with OU Wrestling.

Russia, China, & Japan Are The Top 3 Teams To Watch At Worlds Besides USA

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloGymnastics!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

Irina Alexeeva - Bars, Woga - USA - 2018 International Gymnix

For the past few quadrenniums, the U.S. women's gymnastics program has not only risen to the top but dominated and maintained its golden status. However, at the 2018 World Championships, Team USA isn't the only country expected to contend for a team medal.

Yul Moldauer Calls 2018 World Championships 'Biggest' Event Of His Life

NORMAN, Oklahoma — Yul Moldauer has been part of some big events. He enters his senior year at Oklahoma with seven individual NCAA titles, which is tied for most in college gymnastics history, and three national championships. He has also medaled at the USA Championships and the World Championships.

Brenna Dowell, Oklahoma Aim To Bounce Back After 'Shocking' UCLA Defeat

The end seemed inevitable. 

When the University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team entered the 2018 NCAA Super Six, they were the odds-on favorite to win their fourth national championship since 2014 and third in a row.

USA Gymnastics Names Biles, Hurd & 4 More To 2018 World Championships Team

Interview: Riley McCusker - Day 2, 2018 US Championships

The 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships are less than two weeks away from starting in Doha, Qatar, and USA Gymnastics has just announced the six gymnasts who will be representing the red, white, and blue in the year's biggest international competition. A seventh alternate gymnast will be named in Qatar.

Simone Biles Spearheads The Women's Worlds Event Finals Contenders

Although Doha 2018 marks the first world championships of the quad with a team competition, this year's event finals will still be one to watch, especially with the return of reigning Olympic all-around, vault, and floor champion Simone Biles.

Roster: U.S. Women's 2018 World Team Selection Camp

Following the 2018 World Championships nominative roster release by the International Gymnastics Federation, USA Gymnastics posted the gymnasts who will attend the 2018 U.S. Women’s World Team Selection Camp.

USA's Nominative Team For The 2018 World Championships

The nominative registrations are in for the 2018 World Championships, and the USA's team consists of Simone Biles, Morgan Hurd, Riley McCusker, Grace McCallum, and Kara Eaker, with Shilese Jones as the alternate.

Great Britain Names 2018 World Championships Team

Press release via British Gymnastics:

Ellie Downie, Becky Downie, Kelly Simm, Georgia-Mae Fenton and Alice Kinsella will be the Great Britain women’s team for the forthcoming artistic gymnastics World Championships.

Corinne Bunagan To Represent Philippines At Worlds

Interview: Philippine Senior Elite Corinne Bunagan, ENA Gymnastics

For the first time in three years, the Philippines will be represented in the biggest gymnastics competition of the year. New Jersey native Corinne Bunagan of ENA Paramus will compete at the 2018 World Championships in Doha next month. She received the opportunity after proving herself to be a reliable competitor at the 2018 Asian Games.

U.S. Men's Team Announced For 2018 World Gymnastics Championships

USA Gymnastics has announced the men's team for the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Sam Mikulak, Akash Modi, Yul Moldauer, Colin Van Wicklen, and Alec Yoder make up the five person team with Allan Bower as the traveling alternate.