The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

April 18, 2014

Sooners eager for title shot

NCAA championships begin today in Alabama

NORMAN — After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there.

The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked Sooners are looking to break through and earn the program’s first national title.

“It would be so special,” junior Erica Brewer said. “We’ve worked so hard. I feel like this year is a little different. We want it so bad. It’s what’s pushing us to do our very best and to be our very best.”

The tournament is being held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, which is in the backyard of No. 4 Alabama.

“We love competing there,” OU coach K.J. Kindler said. “I hope that fans will come out for that first session as well. This is an extremely deep group. There are amazing gymnasts on every team and you’re going to see some of the best that you’ve seen in many years. We’re definitely looking forward to competing in Alabama.”

The Sooners will compete in the first semifinal group of the day. It includes No. 3 LSU, No. 6 Georgia, No. 7 Michigan, No. 10 Stanford and No. 11 Illinois. The second semifinal features No. 1 Florida, the Tide, Utah, UCLA, Nebraska and Penn State.

The top three from each semifinal advance to Saturday’s Super Six Championship. The Sooners are looking for their fourth appearance since 2010.

“It’s going to take us to do just like we do in practice,” McKenzie Wofford said. “Have confidence in ourselves to know that we can do it. We have great talent on the team so it’s definitely possible. They tell us that it’s like the time of your life. So just to have fun with it and not be too uptight about everything. The more loose you are the better you’re going to be.”

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