The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 20, 2013

No. 2 Oklahoma wants to become a fan favorite

Sooners set to face No. 5 UCLA in top-5 battle

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“We are a top team and not a lot of students know this,” Olson said. “And they’ve never experienced it. If they do, they will love it. Especially college. You don’t have to be quiet. You can be as crazy as you want. We don’t get as many fans as football, but it’s just as exciting because you get to be there with your fellow students.”

The program has seen a slow and steady increase in attendance over the years. In the Sooners’ first home meet of the year, they drew close to 2,500 fans and were was able to get more than 2,200 to come to last week’s Perfect 10 Challenge in Oklahoma City.

But the true test for where the gymnastics team stands in the state will come Friday when it hosts No. 5 UCLA in a battle of top-five teams. It’s the biggest meet of the regular season for OU.

“If that doesn’t bring in everybody, I don’t know what will,” Kindler said. “There is no reason someone shouldn’t get off their couch, stand up, shuffle to their car and drive straight to Lloyd Noble. It’s going to be a great event.”

With six titles the Bruins are one of only four programs to ever win a women’s national title. They also kept OU from winning its first and only championship in 2010 when they edged them out by a score of 197.725 to 197.250.

Kindler has set the bar high on what she expects to see in the LNC stands at 7 p.m. Friday.

“A win is 4,000 people,” Kindler said. “We brought in about 2,500 our first meet and the energy was amazing. I can imagine where we would be if we had 4,000 plus. We’ve been to at least three meets this year on the road that had over 5,500 people. The energy is electric. Athletes love to compete under that kind of roof. To have that at home, it would be incredible.”

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