2020 Oklahoma Sooners

OKLAHOMA SOONERS
Seniors
Jade
DeGouveia
VT
UB
FX
  • Competed VT, FX in every meet in 2019
  • #1 returning score on VT (9.915)
  • #2 returning score on FX (9.945)
Maggie Nichols
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • 2-time defending national AA champion
  • #1 returning score on BB (9.975), UB (9.960)
  • Avg on VT (9.942), avg on FX (9.900)
  • Scored two 10.0s in 2019 (1 VT, 1 UB)
Brehanna Showers
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed in 5 meets in 2019 before season-ending injury
  • Competed each event at least 3 times, with peaks of 9.875 VT, 9.850 UB, 9.900 BB, 9.925 FX
Juniors
Jordan Draper
UB
FX
  • Competed FX in 13 of 17 meets in 2019 for NQS of 9.880
  • Did not appear in national championships lineup on FX
Evy Schoepfer
VT
BB
FX
  • Competed 5 BBs, 4 FXs, 3 VTs in 2019
  • Avg of 9.792 VT, 9.688 FX, 9.660 BB
  • Competed 10 FXs in 2018 for 9.855 RQS
Karrie Thomas
UB
BB
  • Competed UB in 15 of 17 meets following transfer from Maryland
  • #2 returning score on UB (9.910)
  • Showed 1 BB in 2019 for 9.825
Anastasia Webb
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 15 of 17 meets in 2019
  • Competed UB, BB, FX in every meet
  • #2 returning score on BB (9.925)
  • #3 returning score on VT (9.905), UB (9.900), FX (9.905)
Carly Woodard
BB
  • Competed BB in every meet in 2019, hitting 16 of 17
  • #3 returning score on BB (9.920)
Sophomores
Emma LaPinta
FX
  • Competed FX in 9 of 17 meets in 2019
  • Hit 6 of 9 routines for NQS of 9.825
Allie Stern
VT
FX
  • Competed VT in 9 of 17 meets in 2019 with all scores between 9.800 and 9.875
  • Competed 4 FXs with peak of 9.850 and avg of 9.569
Olivia Trautman
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed VT, FX in 14 of 17 meets in 2019 and BB in 13
  • #1 returning score on FX (9.965)
  • #2 returning score on VT (9.910)
  • NQS of 9.870 on BB
  • Competed 1 UB in 2019 for 9.875
Freshmen
Vanessa Deniz
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Arena Gymnastics
  • 9th AA, 2018 JO Nationals (4th VT, UB, FX)
Jenna Dunn
BB
  • Bart Conner’s
  • BB champion, 2017 JO Nationals
Erin Hutchison
BB
  • WOGA
  • 8th AA, 2019 Region 3s
Ragan Smith
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Texas Dreams
  • 2017 US National champion
  • 2016 Olympic alternate
Brooke Weins
VT
BB
  • 5280
  • 16th BB, 2018 JO Nationals

FINAL SEASON RANKING
2019 – 1st
2018 – 2nd
2017 – 1st
2016 – 1st
2015 – 3rd
2014 – 1st
2013 – 2nd
2012 – 7th
2011 – 3rd
2010 – 2nd

THE 2019 STORY
It’s Oklahoma’s world. The most successful team of the decade won its fourth national title last season after spending the whole year atop the rankings—and making history by setting the mark for highest road score ever in college gymnastics. So…um…the 2019 story was good? It went well, you guys.

DEPARTED 2019 ROUTINES
Brenna Dowell – VT, UB, BB, FX
Nicole Lehrmann – VT, UB, BB
Alex Marks – UB

It’s not all rainbows as Oklahoma did graduate a third of its lineup, including 7 NQSs of 9.9 or greater. While Oklahoma is always expected to restock the lineup comfortably because it always happens, this is not a small job.

INCOMING GYMNASTS
Oklahoma’s new class of five is headlined by Ragan Smith, one of the most intriguing freshmen in college gymnastics because of course the talent is there to have a Maggie Nichols career, but the injury history is enough to warrant caution. Smith and Vanessa Deniz will both be called upon for major contributions in the 2020 lineup replacement project.

2020 PROJECTION
Oklahoma will open 2020 as the default favorite to win a 5th national title. The team is known for starting quickly and immediately rising to the top of the rankings, and the surprise would be if we don’t see Oklahoma get up to #1 right away.

I don’t, however, want to project another title as a given for Oklahoma. The team needs a big contribution from Smith and is going to rely on people who haven’t made lineups before to contribute sudden 9.9s, neither of which is assured. That may compromise the journey to victory, but as it stands now, Oklahoma’s position is the most comfortable.

VAULT

2019 Event Ranking: 1

Lineup locks: Maggie Nichols, Olivia Trautman, Jade Degouveia, Anastasia Webb
Lineup options: Allie Stern, Evy Schoepfer, Ragan Smith, Brooke Weins, Vanessa Deniz, Bre Showers

Oklahoma had seven Y1.5s to choose from last season for its historic full lineup of 10.0 starts, and since five of those return, the vault roster is starting from a place of comfort with the most difficulty in the country. There is still the possibility, though, for a dip in scoring compared to last season without the 9.9s from Dowell and Lehrmann and with no freshmen bringing 10.0 starts (right now).

We can expect the four who made the lineup last season to return—Nichols, Trautman, Degouveia, and Webb—all of whom recorded NQSs over 9.900 last season. So, the path to at least 49.4s is there. Stern didn’t make the final lineup last year, largely because her landing control was the least reliable of the seven, but Oklahoma will be counting on her to step up those landings a half tenth in 2020 since she will be needed in the lineup this season. And will need to make up for lost 9.900s and 9.950s.

Beyond that, Evy Schoepfer is working the tucked 1.5 this year (she has trained the layout before, but it never really came together), and of course Smith had the difficulty in elite, though vault was never her most convenient event and with her injury history, I’m hesitant to anticipate a lot from her on vault. If a full is required, Weins and Deniz should provide additional options, and Showers has filled that role before but had a major injury in March and didn’t appear at the intrasquad this year.

BARS

2019 Event Ranking: 2

Lineup locks: Maggie Nichols, Karrie Thomas, Anastasia Webb, Ragan Smith
Lineup options: Olivia Trautman, Jade Degouveia, Bre Showers, Vanessa Deniz, Jordan Draper

Bars presents the greatest depth concern for Oklahoma in 2020 after losing three essential routines from the 2019 group. The freshman class is not going to deliver three new bars routines, so Oklahoma has had to reach back into the bag and develop some new UB from upperclasswomen again. It has worked before. This season’s nominees are Jade Degouveia and Jordan Draper, and at least the bits we’ve seen from Degouveia so far look ready to get into a real competition lineup.

Returning to the lineup without question will be Nichols, Webb, and Thomas—all of whom got 9.9+ last season—and I’d say Smith should be treated as another lock on this event. Remember when Smith was bad at bars as a junior elite? Me neither. It became a better event for her as a senior elite, and reducing to NCAA composition should suit her well.

As for the others, when healthy Bre Showers has a strong bars routine, Deniz should provide a realistic option, and Trautman competed only once on bars last season, but it was for 9.875. She could have competed regularly had the lineup needed her.

So while not as deep as the other events, the collection of bars routines should exist to make up a strong six. The question is whether those new routines are “getting by”-style 9.850s or whether they can rise to the 9.9 level of the departed sets. In that regard, some pressure will be heaped on Smith and Degouveia to deliver because the lineup is counting on them to be great right away.

BEAM

2019 Event Ranking: 1

Lineup locks: Maggie Nichols, Ragan Smith, Anastasia Webb, Carly Woodard, Olivia Trautman
Lineup options: Vanessa Deniz, Karrie Thomas, Bre Showers, Evy Schoepfer, Jenna Dunn, Brooke Weins, Erin Hutchinson

Oklahoma brings back the meat of its #1-ranked beam lineup from last year, so there shouldn’t be much concern about returning to the level of a #1 beam team again. Plus, beam is Smith’s showcase event, and she has the capability to bring a routine that scores equivalently to Nichols’—potentially providing an upgrade over last season’s scores. Supporting Nichols and Smith, you’ll have Webb, Woodard, and Trautman, all of whom look sure to return to the lineup.

I’m pretty comfortable with that five, and we could see a sort of revolving-door sixth position because a number of people on this roster present believable routines. It’s the team’s deepest event right now because you have Deniz for whom beam was my favorite event in JO, Thomas who didn’t make this group last year but could have, Showers who has competed beam plenty before, and several other freshmen who, if they make a lineup, it would be the beam lineup.

Oklahoma has lots of gymnasts to work through here who all warrant at least a shot, though may not get it because they’re all contending for what looks like a single place in this lineup. Which is a good one.

FLOOR

2019 Event Ranking: 2

Lineup locks: Olivia Trautman, Maggie Nichols, Jade Degouveia, Anastasia Webb
Lineup options: Ragan Smith, Jordan Draper, Evy Schoepfer, Emma LaPinta, Vanessa Deniz, Allie Stern

Yes, Oklahoma’s floor lineup ended up finishing the season ranked #2, but if there was a crack in the armor last season, it was on floor, with a few positions in the lineup (especially when Nichols was out) that proved troublesome to fill or occasionally 9.825y, when anything lower than a 9.9 is basically cause for imprisonment.

As on most pieces for Oklahoma, four sure-thing routines return to this lineup from Trautman, Nichols, Degouveia, and Webb. Big scores, 9.950s, some 10s. It’ll be fine. The trick is going to be the remaining routines. Smith has been working floor and competed at the intrasquad, which promotes a little more optimism for her floor contribution than I would have had otherwise. Draper made the lineup most last season for comfortable scores (though the limited composition makes me hesitant about putting her routine back in the lineup in pen), Schoepfer also saw time last year and competed in the final (for a fall that was dropped), and Deniz should provide a competitive routine.

Like on bars, the options exist, but it’s not just about filling out a lineup. It’s about replacing the 9.950 from Dowell and improving on some of the scores that made this lineup a little 49.3ish at times last season. The jury is still out on that part.

15 thoughts on “2020 Oklahoma Sooners”

  1. I wish I didn’t have to see Webb or Degouveia on floor but that’s life I guess… at least I can hope that Draper and LaPinta will get bumped by better routines.

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    1. What are you talking about? Webb is a gorgeous dancer. The other three I can understand, though Degouveia is clean but with a little knee form.

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    2. Why the hate on Oklahoma? Jealousy? IMO Webb is beautiful on floor, KJ’s choreography is fantastic and interesting. I find it very refreshing with all the techno stuff that is out there. I’d like to see a little more variety in Oklahoma’s music, but I find KJ’s work very creative and artistic.

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      1. I love watching gymnasts like Webb, Nichols, Chayse Capps, and Natalie Brown perform KJ’s choreography. However, when a gymnast is not a natural dancer, I feel like she really struggles to come up with ideas.

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      2. I agree that KJ often struggles with the gymnasts who aren’t natural dancers. Case in point – Evy Schoepfer. But I did really enjoy DeGouvia’s floor last year.

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    3. I really dislike both Webb and DeGouveia’s dance and don’t find their tumbling good enough to make up for it. I don’t think many – if any – gymnasts on Oklahoma’s team are naturally strong dancers, and they’re not given much to work with.

      I definitely don’t agree that KJ’s choreography is either interesting or artistic. For me, watching Oklahoma on floor (or honestly on everything except vault) is a bit of a chore.

      You needn’t agree of course, but I don’t think that qualifies as “hate.”

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  2. I hope OU’s floor choreography is better this year. All the routines have been looking extremely similar lately. I used to love OU floor routines, but they’ve become so bland and boring the last few years.

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    1. All their floor routines are either a pop song remix or a weird electronic song. They’re different, but the same. I hope they get more variety in their music.

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  3. I don’t understand why Ragan is doing a DLO dismount instead of the FTDT, the double layout is whippy. I also hope switches out the pak for a bail, or fixes up the arch/leg separation in it, in case the judges take deductions for these and her scores become lower than they could be.

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  4. Also to all the people who feel like their favorite team is being picked on – (1) be glad you’re not a UCLA fan and (2) I suppose we could all talk about how amazingly consistent and polished Oklahoma is and how they’re the best team of the decade but since that’s already been very
    clearly substantiated by actual judges and championship trophies it seems unnecessary.

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  5. Hopefully Reagan will come out of her shell at this point she bored me to death during her entire elite career, especially during the interviews. Anyway, let’s see If she can actually come up with some personality otherwise… Zzzzz

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    1. I think Ragan has plenty of friends and personality. Keep in mind that every interview we see has been of a young teenager before or after an extraordinarily high-pressure circumstance. Some people can naturally compartmentalize a bit better, but it’s not abnormal to be super-focused, in which case providing a charming interview is likely not the highest priority. Let’s be kind, and hope instead that the lighter physical demands and team atmosphere will make HER happy. If they do, that will trickle into her gymnastics … and her interviews. 😉

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  6. Glad to see that Oklahoma Womens Gymnastics doesn’t overdo championship ring size.

    Cautionary note: The mere possession of brass knuckles is illegal under the Penal Code of many jurisdictions. 😉

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