“In 2010, I don’t think our program had the level of respect it has now,” Kindler said. “I think when we went into nationals that year, the expectations from the outside world were lower for us even though we had the same expectations for ourselves. I think we have put ourselves in a position where we have shown all year long that we are worthy, we are good and that you need to take note this is a great team.”
Semifinal action begins today. The Sooners are in Session II, which starts at 8:05 p.m. They will be battling with No. 3 Alabama, No. 6 UCLA, No. 7 Michigan, No. 10 Utah and No. 11 Arkansas. Session I starts at 2 p.m. and includes No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 Stanford and No. 12 Illinois. The top three teams from each session advance to the Super 6 finals at 6:05 p.m. Saturday.
The top four individuals from each session in each event from the semifinal team and all-around competition will then compete in the individual finals on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Oklahoma will face stiff competition as it chases the program’s first championship. However, they believe they bring something to the table that the other teams do not.
“We definitely focus on the artistry,” Kindler said. “We want artistic gymnastics. It’s almost a show, what we’re doing. When they go out there this weekend at nationals, I think that is going to play a huge part. They are very polished, our athletes. That shows up not only in judge scores, but in their performances. That’s something that stands out about our team.”
Senior Kayla Nowak knows how important it is to draw in the fans and the judges with their passion and excitement. It’s something the Sooners have built their brand on and hope to use to make program history.