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  • Writer's picturePenny McNees

Oklahoma Women's Gymnastics Gearing for their Seventh National Championship

Under the helm of Head Coach K.J. Kindler, the Oklahoma Women's Gymnastics team is looking to bring back their seventh national championship to Norman, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Gymnastics celebrating the National Championship in 2023. Photo from @ou_wgymnastics /Instagram

A major component of the NCAA Gymnastics Championship format is competing at the same time as three other teams, along with competing on a podium. For gymnasts, competing on the podium makes the equipment more bouncy, which can impact a gymnast's performance. It is very important for teams to get experience competing on a podium before having to compete on one in the national regionals and national championship meets.

Starting at OU's opening meet, Kindler has set up her team for success. To open up the season, OU competed at the Mean Girls Super 16 Gymnastics Championship, which gave the team experience similar to that of the national championship meet.

At the Mean Girls Super 16, the Sooners scored 197.850, which led them to win their session, defeating the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and the University of Kentucky. A 197.850 is a significant score to start the season, as only four other schools have reached this mark after week four of competition. 

OU then improved on this mark, scoring 197.900, winning the Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad where OU competed against the University of Utah, Louisiana State University, and UCLA.

OU Gymnastics after winning the Sprouts Collegiate Quad Meet. Photo from @ou_wgymnastics /Instagram

Next, the Sooners headed to the University of Denver where they competed in a quad meet, against Denver, UCLA, and Stanford, where, at the time, they posted the second-highest team score in the country so far, 198.325, which is just shy of their 2023 national championship winning score of 198.3875.

Up next for the Sooners this season, Kindler has her squad competing in two tri-meets, and two quad meets, including the Metroplex Challenge, which is another meet on a podium stage, throughout the season before conference championships. The Sooners will also compete in four duel meets to help gear up and prepare her team for a conference championship and a seventh national championship.

Competing in all of these quad meets allows the competing gymnasts to get a feel of how the regional and national championships will run by going up against three other teams at once. An example of this is not always starting on vault or the uneven bars like in dual meets. Additionally, with some of these quad meets being on a podium stage, it allows Oklahoma’s gymnasts to get experience dealing with and competing on the more bouncy equipment, which can give OU a huge advantage in the postseason. 

Overall, Oklahoma is ranked number one nationally and number one as a team on the uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise and is ranked number two on the vault. This is a team to look out for in the hunt for the national championship.

Up next for the Sooners is a quad-meet at home on February 9th versus BYU, Utah State University, and Texas Women’s. The match will air on ESPN + at 7:45 p.m. EST.


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