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

Christy Ann Linder

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.

UCLA Wins Super Six After Clutch 10.0 At 2018 NCAA Championships

Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

After an incredible competition and a nail-biting ending, UCLA won their seventh national title with a 198.075 at the 2018 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO. The Bruins are one of only six teams that have ever won an NCAA title and this was their first since 2010. 

Nicole Lehrmann Looks To Lead OU To Three-Peat

OU Athletics

The Oklahoma Sooners will go for their third straight NCAA title tonight in the Super Six finals. Junior Nicole Lehrmann is part of a junior class that has never not hoisted the trophy at the end of the competition. Lehrmann contributed solely on bars and beam the past two seasons. 

Oklahoma, Florida, Utah Advance To Super Six At 2018 NCAA Championships

Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma, Florida, and Utah advanced to the Super Six after Semifinal 2 at the 2018 NCAA Championships.

UCLA, LSU, And Nebraska Qualify To Super Six At 2018 NCAA Championships

Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA, LSU, and Nebraska are the first three teams to secure their spots in the Super Six finals after Semifinal 1 at the 2018 NCAA Championships. Coming in, LSU, UCLA, and Alabama were the top-ranked teams but Nebraska was able to slide past Alabama with a fantastic showing on every event.

No Sophomore Slump For Utah's MyKayla Skinner

Utah Athletics

After an incredible freshman campaign, MyKayla Skinner kept the momentum going during her sophomore season. She has been a standout for Utah this season and finished the regular season ranked second in the all-around behind Maggie Nichols. 

NCAA Podcast - Kupets-Carter Bringing Georgia Back

Listen below to hear all about Kupets-Carter's first year as head coach, goals for nationals, and bringing on Suzanne Yoculan!

Lexi Graber: A Stronger Mindset For Alabama After Adversity

Christy Ann Linder

Alabama freshman Lexi Graber had a stellar weekend at regionals in Tuscaloosa with a season-best all-around score of 39.575. Graber has been a solid contributor for the Crimson Tide throughout the season despite an early injury scare in just her third competitive routine on vault against Georgia. 

Marissa Oakley Embraces Team At Georgia

Christy Ann Linder

Marissa Oakley has been a solid, consistent three-event gymnast for the GymDogs this season. Offseason shoulder surgery kept her from adding her full difficulty on bars right away, but by the middle of the season she had found a groove on bars and on balance beam. 

NCAA Weekend Is Here: Teams Arrive In St. Louis

Oklahoma Gymnastics Twitter

We're here in St. Louis to keep you up to date on the action and excitement of this weekend's NCAA championships!

Florida Freshman Alyssa Baumann: Adversity 'Has Only Made Us Stronger'

Carly Mackler - Florida Athletics

Alyssa Baumann spent 2017 rehabbing from elbow surgery instead of competing in Gainesville. The severe elbow injury had taken the former WOGA gymnast out of contention for the 2016 Olympic team. But Baumann hasn’t missed a beat since starting at Florida. She has competed on balance beam and floor exercise in every meet this season and has vaulted on four occasions.