TUSCALOOSA, AL – For the 17th straight season, the Oklahoma women's gymnastics team is headed to the NCAA Championship.
OU’s incredible night included a perfect score from Olivia Trautman as the Sooners notched a 198.175 to take home the Tuscaloosa Regional title.
OU has now won 11 straight regional crowns under head coach K.J. Kindler.
Alabama placed second with a 197.575 to also advance to the NCAA Championship. Arkansas finished third with a 196.700 while Missouri was fourth with a 196.550.
“Starting on vault and coming out strong and finally getting that perfect 10 it was amazing,” Trautman said. “We went straight to bars and nailed bars. We were hitting our casts, hitting our dismounts. The whole bar squad did their job. On beam, I started us off strong and everyone hit. After an injury, Anastasia (Webb) came in and hit a great routine. We nailed floor as the last event and it was a great feeling."
Trautman earned the vault title with her fourth career perfect score and third on the event. Trautman is the first gymnast in OU history to earn a perfect score on vault in regional competition and just the third to earn one on any event.
Webb (bars in 2021) and now-student coach Maggie Nichols (beam in 2018; bars in 2019) are the other two. Webb took home the beam title with a near-perfect 9.975 in the anchor position and the all-around with a 39.700.
Alabama's Shania Adams took home bars with a 9.975 and Luisa Blanco earned floor with a 9.95.
“I think we performed really great,” senior Carly Woodard said. “From top to bottom we were hitting every single event and every single routine. We rallied back on floor and came out really strong. I've seen a lot of resilience and a lot of people pushing themselves as hard as they can. Coming out with back-to-back 198s is really going to boost our confidence.”
The Sooners opened the meet with a 49.450 on vault, highlighted by Trautman's third perfect score on vault. Freshman Audrey Davis led things off with a 9.800 on her Yurchenko full, followed by a 9.85 from junior Allie Stern on her Yurchenko 1.5. Webb notched a 9.9 on her huge 1.5 with senior Evy Schoepfer earning a 9.825 on her tucked 1.5. Freshman Katherine LeVasseur added a 9.875 in the No. 5 spot on her 1.5.
OU took the lead at the halfway point with a 49.575 on bars. Trautman led off by matching her career high with a 9.9 as she nailed her double layout dismount. Webb was spectacular once again as she got the stuck dismount for a 9.9 of her own. Sophomore Ragan Smith had a huge routine, drilling the double layout for a 9.925. Senior Karrie Thomas was the highlight of the rotation as she matched her career high with a 9.95 in the No. 5 spot. Davis wrapped up the rotation with a 9.9 of her own as OU only counted scores of 9.9 or higher.
The third rotation allowed the Sooners to extend their lead as they notched a 49.575 on beam. Trautman led off the beam rotation with yet another stuck dismount for a 9.825. Davis kept the sticks coming with a 9.875 in the No. 2 spot. Woodard showed why she's one of the best on beam as she stuck her dismount and earned a 9.95 to tie her career best. Smith made sure she had a perfect night of sticking her dismounts as she nailed her gainer full for a season-high 9.95. Webb was nearly perfect on the event as she tallied a 9.975 to anchor under pressure after a fall in the No. 5 spot.
The Sooners wrapped up their regional championship with a 49.575 on floor. Draper brought the energy in the lead off spot on floor, earning her second-straight score of 9.9 at the regional. Schoepfer tied her career high with a 9.925, followed by a 9.9 from junior Emma LaPinta. Freshman Bell Johnson kept the high scores coming as she added a 9.9 in the No. 4 spot. Webb added a 9.925 in the No. 5 spot as she showed off her incredible dance skills and gorgeous tumbling. Trautman anchored with yet another phenomenal performance and sky-high double layout for a 9.925.
“It feels really great knowing we're going back to Fort Worth,” Woodard said. “I think this team is really using last year as fuel to take back what we lost last year.”
The top two placing teams from each regional advance to the 2021 NCAA Championships in Fort Worth on April 16-17. The Sooners will be in Semifinal II on April 16 at 5 p.m. and paired up with Alabama and the winners of the NCAA Salt Lake City Regional.