Thursday, March 31 / 7 p.m. CT / Norman, Okla. / Lloyd Noble Center
NOTES AND NUMBERS FOR THE NORMAN REGIONAL
WIN AND ADVANCE
On Thursday, the Sooners will look to continue their NCAA Regional success under head coach K.J. Kindler. Since 2010, the Sooners own 11 consecutive regional championships and 45 individual regional championship titles. In the 2022 NCAA Norman Regional second round, the Sooners will face Arizona State, Arkansas and the winner of the West Virginia/Arizona first round meet.
The afternoon session on Thursday features California, Minnesota, Utah State and Boise State. With the new changes to regional formats starting in 2019, should the Sooners be one of the top two teams on Thursday, they will advance to Saturday’s regional final along with the winners of the first session.
HOME SWEET HOME
OU is to 126-4 inside Lloyd Noble Center since the arrival of head coach K.J. Kindler in 2007. The Sooners have posted 59 consecutive victories dating back to 2014 and the 2022 senior class has never lost a home meet in their career.
The new format to the NCAA Championships is in its third season and once again has a new change. The road to Fort Worth starts with four eight-team regionals in place of six six-team regionals. Taking place over four days, nine teams will travel to regional sites, with seven automatically advancing to day two. Two teams at each site will compete in a play-in on the first day. Beginning this season is the addition of a rest day in between the second round and the finals.
On the second day, eight teams will compete in two sessions of four, and the top two in each of those sessions will advance to the next day. On the final day, four teams will compete in one session, and the top two teams will advance to the finals site. The new format will reduce the number of teams at the NCAA Championships from 12 to eight. Four teams will compete in each semifinal, with the top two in each semifinal advancing to the final night, replacing the Super Six with the Final Four. The 2022 NCAA Championships will be held at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, April 14-16.
2021 REGIONAL RECAP
The Sooners once again dominated regional competition in 2021, handing Alabama their first ever home loss in a regional. The Sooners captured the 2021 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional title with a 198.175 and an 11th consecutive regional title. Olivia Trautman notched a perfect 10 on vault becoming the first Sooner to ever earn a perfect 10 on the event in regional competition. The Sooners posted a 49.575 on bars, beam and floor to earn the highest score at any regional site. On the first day of regional competition, Trautman and Anastasia Webb combined for three regional titles. Webb earned a perfect 10 on bars, the first of her career, to take home the bars title. Trautman and Webb shared the floor title with matching 9.95s in Trautman’s first floor routine of the season in 2021. OU posted a 198.000 to advance to the regional final.
RETURNING REGIONAL CHAMPS
Of the Sooners on the 2022 squad, two have secured individual regional crowns. Olivia Trautman has a pair with the floor titles in both 2019 and 2021. Carly Woodard secured the beam title in 2019 in Athens.
Five members of the No. 1 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team combined to secure eight regular season All-America honors from the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA). Senior Carly Woodard (BB), junior Ragan Smith (BB, FX), sophomores Audrey Davis (UB, AA) and Katherine LeVasseur (VT) and freshman Jordan Bowers (VT, UB) all received recognition from the association. Regular season All-America honors are based on an individual’s final national qualifying score (NQS) prior to regional competition. First team honorees are ranked 1-8 nationally, and second team designees are ranked 9-16. The Sooners had at least one gymnast recognized on every event and in the all-around and two gymnasts honored on three events.
QUEENS OF THE HILL
After starting the season ranked No. 3 in the nation, the Sooners fought back to claim the No. 1 ranking for the final three weeks of the season. This marked the 11th straight year the Sooners have finished in the top two of the regular season national rankings. OU has been the No. 1 overall seed for the national championship in six of the last seven seasons and has earned a No. 1 seed for regional competition in each of the last 12 years.
THE ROAD TO FORT WORTH
The road to the NCAA Championships will now make a journey through Norman and Lloyd Noble Center in 2022. OU is one of four host sites this season, meaning the Sooners will have a home-floor advantage during the three-day regional competition. The Sooners were not originally slated to host in 2022, but due to issues at another host site, OU was granted the postseason competition. This will be the fourth time since 2011 that the Sooners will play host as they hosted in 2011, 2013 and 2015. OU has won all three regional championships in the LNC and will look to make it four in April.
CHAMPIONS ONCE AGAIN
With the highest championship score in Big 12 history, the Sooners claimed the 2022 Big 12 Championship with a 198.200. This is the ninth title in 10 years for Oklahoma and the 13th in program history. For head coach K.J. Kindler, the title is the 12th in her 16 years at the helm of the program. Following the conclusion of the meet, Big 12 yearly awards were announced as well. Freshman Jordan Bowers was named the Newcomer of the Year, joining teammates Olivia Trautman and Ragan Smith as Sooners to have won the honor. Fifth-year senior Carly Woodard was named the Event Specialist of the Year for the first time in her career, joining fellow fifth-year senior Karrie Thomas who earned the title in 2021. Kindler was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year for the 11th time as the head coach of Oklahoma and 14th time overall.
BEST IN SHOW
The Sooners claimed at least a share of every event title. Olivia Trautman picked up her second career Big 12 title with a near-perfect 9.975. On bars, Karrie Thomas and Ragan Smith shared the title with Denver’s Rylie Mundell with matching 9.95s. On beam, Woodard picked up her first Big 12 individual crown with a 9.95, shared with Denver’s Momoko Iwai. Four athletes tied on floor with 9.95s with Jordan Bowers, Danielle Sievers, Smith and Iowa State’s Maddie Diab sharing the title.
YOUNG AND HUNGRY
Of the 288 routines competed so far by the Sooners, 167 have been performed by underclassmen. That means 58 percent of routines competed are being done by freshmen and sophomores. At least one freshman has competed on vault, bars and floor in every meet this season. A freshman has appeared on beam in six of 12 meets. The vault lineup is the youngest lineup for the Sooners as senior Allie Stern was the only junior or senior gymnast to have competed during the season, until Olivia Trautman came back to the lineup on March 11. Every other athlete who has competed at least one vault for the Sooners has been a freshman or sophomore. Bars and floor have featured at least four underclassmen, and sometimes five, every week this season. Beam, however, is the lineup with the most experience with seniors Carly Woodard and Trautman and juniors Jenna Dunn and Ragan Smith being staples in the lineup. With Trautman’s return to the lineup on Feb. 19, four of the six competing athletes are upperclassmen.
PERFECTION IN THE LNC
Katherine LeVasseur and Allie Stern went back-to-back with perfect 10s on vault on Jan. 9 in the home opener. The duo joined an exclusive club with their back-to-back perfection as just the fourth pair to achieve the feat. In 2021, Anastasia Webb and Evy Schoepfer went back-to-back with perfect scores on vault. In 2018, Webb earned a perfect 10 on balance beam and was followed by a perfect score from Maggie Nichols. McKenzie Wofford and Nicole Lehrmann went back-to-back on uneven bars in 2017. This was the first time since the 2019 season that a Sooner earned a perfect score in the first meet of the season. In 2019, Maggie Nichols earned a perfect 10 on vault at Arkansas to open the season.
On Jan. 30, Carly Woodard added another perfect 10 as she earned her first career perfect score on balance beam. Woodard, who returned for a fifth season, has had multiple 9.95s in her career but couldn’t quite reach the elusive mark of perfection. On Feb. 6, Ragan Smith was perfect on balance beam, earning the first perfect 10 of her career and followed that up a week later with her second perfect 10 on the event. Jordan Bowers earned a perfect 10 on vault on March 4 as the Sooners earned at least one 10 in each home meet this season. The Sooners now have six perfect 10s this season: three on beam and three on vault.
- The Sooners have hit 274 of 288 routines this season for a hit percentage of .951. Eight gymnasts are perfect on the season, hitting every routine they have performed. Of those eight, five have competed in all 12 meets.
- The Sooners have had 10 of 15 athletes who have competed at least once this season earn an event title. Eight of the nine have earned at least two event titles this season.
- Jordan Bowers and Audrey Davis lead the squad with 17 and 13 event titles, respectively. Bowers owns at least one event title on three of four events and the all-around, while Davis has at least one title on two events and the all-around.
- Vault, beam and floor have seen eight athletes complete at least one routine in 2022. Bars has seen seven athletes compete at least once this year.
The top two placing teams from each regional will advance to the 2021 NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas on April 14 and 16. Should the Sooners advance, they will be in Semifinal I on April 14 at noon CT. The Norman regional winners will be paired up with the winners of the NCAA Seattle Regional which includes No. 4 Utah and No. 5 Alabama.