By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — It took a dominating performance in its season opener, but Oklahoma took over the No. 1 spot in the country in the latest women’s gymnastics rankings. They had started the year at No. 3.
The ranking, which was announced Monday, comes on the heels of the Sooners scoring 197.700 points to beat No. 8 Georgia Friday at Lloyd Noble Arena. It was the top-scoring output of the weekend.
“This is huge for us,” OU coach K.J. Kindler said of the victory. “This is something that will definitely build their confidence for down the road, and it’s only the beginning. It’s hard to remember that because all those great feelings of getting out there and competing are coming back. The anticipation of it is so great and you want that first time out to be amazing. I feel phenomenal about it.”
The Sooners were followed in the rankings by three future opponents this season, including Feb. 9 home opponent LSU at No. 2 (197.200). Perfect 10 Challenger competitor Alabama took the No. 3 spot (197.150), and Jan. 31 road foe Florida came in at a tie for No. 4 (196.650). All three teams are in the formidable SEC.
The Sooners took over the top spot after a strong performance in each event against the Gym Dogs. They hold the top spots on vault (49.475), beam (49.375) and floor (49.500) and are also No. 3 on bars (49.350).
Led by Haley Scaman, OU has at least one gymnast that is ranked on each event. She is tied for the No. 2 spot nationally on floor (9.95) and vault (9.95). Junior Erica Brewer is tied for No. 3 on bars (9.925), while adding a No. 6 individual ranking in the all-around (39.450).
A trio of Sooner upperclassmen found themselves tied for the No. 1 spot on beam after a strong showing against Georgia. Seniors Madison Mooring and Taylor Spears and junior Rebecca Clark are all tied for the top spot nationally (9.925).
Oklahoma’s 16 individual rankings by eight performers led the nation’s gymnastics teams. No team in the country had more individual performers ranked after opening weekend than OU.
Oklahoma is back in action at 6:45 p.m. Friday when they host Iowa State at Lloyd Noble Center.
Follow me @eyeamtruth
Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.