Women's gymnastics: OU wins final two home meets, remains undefeated
Astrud Reed, The Oklahoma Daily
The No. 2 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team hosted its final two home meets of the season at Lloyd Noble Center this weekend, defeating No. 16 Arizona on Friday and North Carolina and No. 9 Stanford on Sunday.
After recording the third highest score in team history Friday, the Sooners (19-0) honored three seniors – Brie Olson, Kayla Nowak, and Lauren Smith – for senior day on Sunday.
“It was so surreal,” Olson said. “We are a really close senior group. It makes it even harder since we are great friends. We just want the best for each other, so I think that was part of the emotions that were coming out, especially for me just knowing that it’s gone by so fast.”
Oklahoma swept all four team event titles in both meets and has now recorded an impressive nine-straight meets of a 197 or better team score.
On Friday, junior Taylor Spears claimed the all-around title and tied for first on both beam and floor to contribute to a sweep of individual event titles for the Sooners.
“Every meet has been so different and presents new challenges all the time,” said OU head coach K.J. Kindler. “I think we pulled ourselves out of what we did last week, which was kind of subpar for us.”
With a quick turn-around to Sunday’s meet, the Sooners dealt with a lineup change due to freshman Keeley Kmieciak being forced to sit out with an illness.
“We had a lot of things that we had to address because we had an illness with one of our athletes,” Kindler said. “We placed some people in that have experience. They know that sometimes they’ll need to step in and as an alternate, that’s where you need to be mentally.”
Despite the change in lineup, OU was still able to again claim all four individual event titles with scores of 9.925 or better. Olson earned a 9.975 bar score, which was the highest score of the day and a career-best for the senior.
The Sooners move on to their final meet of the regular season against No. 5 Alabama in Tuscaloosa at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.