For Washington coach Joanne Bowers, handling pressure began before her team even arrived in Norman.
“We practiced all last week the routines we are going to do,” Bowers said. “The things we can control are hitting our routines. There is some great competition here. But on any given day, whoever hits their routines, advances.”
The Sooners are looking to continue their streak of nine straight seasons of making it out of the regional meet and into nationals. Being able to compete at home gives the Sooners a slight home-court advantage.
“I think we are the only game in town,” OU coach K.J. Kindler said. “Based on that I’m hoping everyone will come out and support us. Whether you are supporting Oklahoma gymnastics or Oklahoma in general, it makes an enormous difference for the athletes to have that kind of electricity within the arena. That kind of atmosphere catapults your team to a different place.”
But none of the other teams are conceding to Oklahoma.
“We know coming into this it’s gong to be kind of a longshot for our program,” Southern Utah coach Scott Bauman said. “But we also know that we are all here to move on to the next round. I don’t care if we are the sixth (seed) team, we expect to go on to. For this meet right now, our goal is real simple. We’re not trying to go out there and blow anybody’s socks off. We’re trying to go out there and hit 24-for-24 routines and get our job done.”
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