No. 2 Oklahoma wins Norman Regional as Sooners, Stanford advance to NCAAs
NORMAN, Okla. -- No. 2 Oklahoma won its fourth consecutive NCAA Regional with a score of 197.375, besting Stanford (196.800), Washington (195.925), Penn State (195.875), Iowa (194.475) and Southern Utah (194.850) in front of 2,588 fans at the Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday.
Oklahoma will join Stanford in advancing to the NCAA championships in Los Angeles April 19-21 on the campus of UCLA. The championship will be the Sooners' 10th consecutive appearance and 13th overall in program history.
OU claimed six individual regional titles, including Rebecca Clark and Taylor Spears as co-champions on bars, Spears a co-champion on beam, Brie Olson and Haley Scaman co-champions on floor and Spears as the all-around champion.
"It never gets old," said OU head coach K.J. Kindler, who was announced the South Central Region Coach of the Year following the meet. "This is our fourth straight year of winning a regional, and I think it says a lot for how far our program has come and where we're going."
Spears, the Big 12 Gymnast of the Year and Big 12 all-around champion, scored a 39.525 for her eighth all-around title this season.
"[The crowd] was great," Spears said. "They were right there with us the whole time, cheering for every routine. To look up and just see them all cheering for you is a great feeling. They make us perform even better because we know that they love us, and we love them."
OU registered its biggest score of the night on floor, ending the meet with a 49.425 to seal the first-place finish. Olson, competing in her final meet at home as a Sooner, scored a 9.9 before Scaman finished out OU's evening with another 9.9.
Oklahoma started on vault, which was highlighted by Madison Mooring's 9.925 on the Sooners' second routine. The score propelled OU to a 49.375 team score on the event. Freshman Maile'ana Kanewa, the Big 12 vault champion, added a 9.9 while Olson earned a 9.875.
Following a bye, Oklahoma competed on bars, posting a 49.400. Spears, the Big 12 event co-champion, and Clark tied for the team high with 9.9 scores. Erica Brewer and Olson were right behind, each scoring 9.875.
Spears, the top-ranked gymnast in the country on beam, scored a 9.9 for OU, which finished with a 49.175 team score. Mooring, Brewer and Lauren Alexander each scored 9.85, respectively.