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OU women's gymnastics: Sooners overcome injuries to hold off No. 3 Utah

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Oklahoma v Arizona StateJanuary 10, 2021

Oklahoma’s Katherine LeVasseur competes in the Sooners’ meet against Arizona State on Jan. 10 at Lloyd Noble Center.

NORMAN — Oklahoma clinched a victory against women’s gymnastics’ third-ranked team Sunday afternoon but it had to overcome a difficult start to the meet before it even began.

OU freshman Audrey Lynn, who won the vault event title in the Sooners’ opener against Arizona State a week ago, sustained a leg injury during warmups and will be out for the remainder of the season.

“Just a really dynamic freshman from Bart Conner Gymnastics [Academy],” said OU coach K.J. Kindler. “I think she really enjoyed last week, having that opportunity out there. So, it is a major bummer, and you never you never want that to happen to anybody. So, it was tough.”

Kindler said the injury might have played into her group’s lack of focus at the beginning of the meet — not that she blames them — as they processed the gut-wrenching injury.

It’s already been a hard few days for the program, which also lost senior Carly Woodard, a 2019 All-America first-team selection on beam, to an injury during practice on Thursday that will keep her out at least four weeks, Kindler said.

The OU skipper was forced to rearrange her lineup on the fly with the Sooner short-handed. They still persevered, prevailing 197.025-196.550 against the Utes.

“They kept chipping away. They kept pushing themselves,” Kindler said. “… It is early in the season and to go against No. 3 in your second week, it’s awesome. It’s a great opportunity. and at the end of the day, we came out with a W, and I’m pretty happy with that, considering I know they can be a whole lot better than they were today.”

That’s not to take away the solid performances OU produced on Sunday, Kindler said.

For what became a major victory for the program, OU’s nerves perhaps showed the most through the first rotation. OU started on vault, while Utah performed on bars, which resulted in the Sooners trailing 49.275-49.150 entering the second rotation.

OU ultimately edged Utah in each event, despite claiming two event individual titles — Anastasia Webb’s 9.925 on vault Audrey Davis’ 9.900 on bars.

Sooner freshman Katherine LeVasseur was second to Webb on vault, scoring a 9.875.

She also tied a trio of Utah gymnasts with a 9.875 on bars for second in the event.

“I thought Anastasia and Katherine’s vaults were really dynamic,” Kindler said. “… I would say that Audrey Davis, again, and Katherine really led the whole squad, two freshmen leading that bar squad.”

Next, OU (2-0) will try to remain undefeated when it meets West Virginia at 6 p.m. Friday in Morgantown. The Big 12 programs will compete again on Jan. 31 in Norman.

Joe Buettner

405-366-3580

Follow me @JoeBuettner

jbuettner@normantranscript.com

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