Sports

Tomorrow: Sooners Fight For Fifth NCAA Title

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Saturday, April 16 / Noon CT / Fort Worth, Texas / Dickies Arena

NOTES AND NUMBERS FOR THE NCAA FINALS

FOUR ON THE FLOOR
For the ninth straight season and 11th time overall, the Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team will compete in the NCAA team finals. A change from the Super Six to the Four on the Floor beginning in 2019, the Sooners will compete in the finals of the NCAA Championship at noon CT on Saturday afternoon against Auburn, Florida and Utah. In the finals, the Sooners will rotate beginning on floor and ending on beam.

ON THE AIR
The Four on the Floor will air live on ABC and will also be available on WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Online viewers will be able to stream each individual apparatus or a quad-box view called “All-Around,” which presents a streaming view of each event live at the same time on one screen. US Olympic Medalists Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke will call the action.

ELITE 90 AWARD WINNER

Emma LaPinta, a senior on the Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team, is the recipient of the Elite 90 award for the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Gymnastics Championship. LaPinta, majoring in communications, currently carries a 4.0 GPA. LaPinta was presented with the award after the Sooners competed in the NCAA Semifinals in Fort Worth, Texas. This is the second year in a row the Frisco native has earned the award after taking home the honor in 2021.

The Elite 90, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships.

ALL AMERICAN GIRLS
In addition to advancing to the NCAA Finals, nine members of the Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team combined for 14 All-America honors at the 2021 NCAA Championship. Championship All-Americans are based on individual finishes in Thursday’s semifinal sessions with first team honors going to gymnasts who finish in the top four of their semifinal and second team recognition to those who finish in positions five through eight.

jordan bowers, who finished second on floor exercise, tallied three All-America honors in her freshman season. Bowers was named a first-team honoree on floor and picked up second team honors on vault and bars. Olivia Trautmann, Danielle Sievers and Ragan Smith all earned a pair of All-America honors. Trautman was recognized as a second-team selection on both vault and beam. Sievers was a first-team selection on floor and a second-team selection on bars in her first season competing as a Sooner. Smith earned first-team honors on floor and second team honors on beam. The junior has now earned beam All-America honors in each of her first two NCAA Championships, while picking up her first honor on floor.

Audrey Davis, Dana Fletcher, Katherine LeVasseur, Allie Stern and Carly Woodard all claimed All-America honors as well. Stern picked up her second championship All-America honor with a first-team nod on vault. The senior picked up a podium finish, placing third overall.

Davis earned her third All-America honor with a first-team nod on bars as she finished second at the meet. Woodard was named a second-team All-American in 2022. Fletcher and LeVasseur each earned their first career honors. Fletcher was named a first-team selection on floor while LeVasseur earned a first-team nod on bars.

BEST OF THE BEST
With a semifinal win on Saturday, the Sooners cemented themselves as the only team to reach the finals in the last nine seasons. OU has not missed out on the final day of competition since the 2012 season. OU has finished no lower than third place and has finished in the top two every season since 2014. The Sooners are the only squad in the championship meet with a title in the last five years.

POST-SEASON SUCCESS
Postseason has become a strength of the Sooners under head coach KJ Kindler. Since 2010, OU owns 10 seasons in which it has captured a conference and regional championship in the same season, accomplishing the feat in 2022, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2010. The Sooners claimed the 2022 Big 12 Championship with the highest score in championship history before claiming its 12th straight regional crown in Norman. The Sooners have advanced to the NCAA Championship 21 times in program history including every season dating back to 2004. OU has never missed NCAA Competition under Kindler’s leadership. Since 2016, the Sooners have been placed in the top two every year with national titles in 2016, 2017 and 2019.

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