The Norman Transcript
MINNEAPOLIS — Not only is Oklahoma’s women’s gymnastics team going back to the NCAA championships, but it’s going there on the heels of a fifth straight NCAA regional championship, the most recent of which was claimed Saturday night at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis.
The Sooners outdistanced the pack with a 197.725 total, slipping past Illinois’ 196.600.
The Illini will join OU at the national meet, which begins April 18 in Birmingham, Ala.
The rest of the Minneapolis field — Minnesota (196.350), Cal (195.700), Southern Utah (195.150) and San Jose State (193.950) — will not.
By scoring 49.700 total on the vault, 49.175 on the bars, 49.400 on the beam and 49.450 on the floor, OU claimed victory on three of the four disciplines, settling for third place on the bars.
Sooner Maile’ana Kanewa won the vault with a score of 9.975, while OU placed all six of its competitors among the top nine slots.
Led by Chayse Capps, who tied with llinois’ Sarah Fiedler and Minnesota’s Lindsay Mable and Hanna Nordquist to earn beam superiority with scores of 9.90, the Sooners also claimed the next four finishers in the event: Kara Lovan, Erica Brewer, Taylor Spears and Rebecca Clark all posted 9.875.
On the floor, Kanewa tied for second with a score of 9.925. After her, Lara Albright and Haley Scaman both tied for third with scores of 9.90.
Though OU has been very close in the past, coach K.J. Kindler’s program is still looking for its first national championship.
Saturday night’s dominance would appear to be a fine starting point.
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