2021 – 2nd
2020 – 1st
2019 – 1st
2018 – 2nd
2017 – 1st
2016 – 1st
2015 – 3rd
2014 – 1st
2013 – 2nd
2012 – 7th
2021 IN REVIEW
Insofar as 2021 proved to be one of those years where Oklahoma didn’t win—despite being ranked #1 heading into the postseason and recording the highest score in both the regional finals and the national semifinals—last season counts as a miss. Oklahoma is the juggernaut, the team everyone wants to beat, and we saw two critical occasions in 2021 where the typically indomitable Sooners were favored to dash the dreams of the plucky underdog—the conference championship against Denver and the national championship against Michigan—but left the door open instead.
Still, you know, four consecutive 198s to end the season and an NQS of 197.944. What a bad job.
Anastasia Webb – VT, UB, BB, FX
Evy Schoepfer – VT, BB, FX
Jordan Draper – UB, FX
THE NEW ONES
There is some hand-wringing over whether the Sooners can keep up the quality this year because they are the lone championship contender to have lost measurable routines from last season, losses that include their top all-arounder and 8 of the 24 routines from nationals. The other top teams are almost entirely adding, but Oklahoma is definitely subtracting as well.
These concerns could prove to be unfounded because of Jordan Bowers. Bowers has the capability to hit the ground running and just fully be Anastasia Webb, getting those same types of scores in the all-around and mitigating what currently seems like a massive loss to the lineups. While Bowers’ leaving elite a few years ago means she doesn’t currently have the name recognition of some of the other elites starting NCAA this year, she has everything necessary to become national all-around champion.
Oklahoma will also look to get multi-routine contribution out of Danielle Sievers and Moorea Linker. That neither gymnast competed at Oklahoma’s intrasquad last weekend could…present an issue since the Sooners’ are absolutely relying on specific routines from both of them. Time will tell there. Ideally, both Sievers and Linker will bring Yurchenko 1.5s to ensure that the vault lineup is full of 10.0 starts again, as well as floor routines with wow-factor E elements to upgrade a six that didn’t live up to expectations last year. Beautiful bars handstands are another hallmark of both of their routines that look like reasonable bets for a lineup as long as there’s room, and beam will be an option as well. Sievers’ double tuck dismount there could set her apart.
Don’t expect to see as much from the other three new athletes, but Caitin Kirkpatrick could be the next in that long line of walk-ons from Bart Connor’s who suddenly makes the beam lineup and is amazing. That’s her closest event. Amy Weir is probably also closest on beam (dismounting a back tuck full from the side), while bars would be the project event for Madison Snook to get her into a lineup at some point.
Oklahoma in 2022 provides one of the most challenging characterizations because on the one hand, the atmospheric circumstances are less encouraging than usual for the Sooners given the quality of athlete that Florida, Utah, and UCLA is bringing in with all that post-Olympic-season glow, combined with the critical routines the Sooners have lost. If there’s a year when it’s actually safe to predict Oklahoma not winning, this is the year.
On the other hand, this Oklahoma first-year class seems pretty under-the-radar in its talent level, featuring three athletes who profile as college gymnastics stars, potentially in the all-around. If Oklahoma has Bowers, Sievers, and Linker all going, you see the pathway to replacing all of last year’s lost scores, and then some, with reasonable improvements on a couple events as the team 198s all over the place again.
But because Oklahoma is somewhat heavily reliant on people who haven’t gone before and/or who didn’t appear at all at the intrasquad, there’s more room for things to go not perfectly, even if the team remains a favorite to make the top four.
2021 Event Ranking: 3
|Lineup locks: Olivia Trautman, Jordan Bowers, Allie Stern, Katherine Levasseur|
|Lineup options: Danielle Sievers, Audrey Davis, Moorea Linker, Audrey Lynn, Sheridan Ramsey, Danae Fletcher, Meilin Sullivan, Emma LaPinta, Ragan Smith|
Oklahoma’s pathway to a top-scoring vault lineup looks pretty clear once again, with a definite possibility of six 10.0 starts and a few to spare. Olivia Trautman is always going to have to be managed in her numbers, but she can get 10s when she’s there. Allie Stern brings OU’s top returning Y1.5 week-to-week from last year, Levasseur went every meet last season with her Y1.5, and Bowers looks like a lock to join the lineup with her Y1.5. Oklahoma has two 9.950+ vaults to replace from last season, so the Bowers addition is critical.
The 1.5 from Dnaielle Sievers is very clean with top-3-in-the-lineup potential, and both she and Moorea Linker received 10s for their vaults in L10 this year (there’s a bonus in L10 so your Y1.5 doesn’t have to be perfect to get a 10). Audrey Davis vaulted weekly last season, sometimes with a full, sometimes with a 1.5 that got a couple 9.9s, so expect to see her again, and Oklahoma will also count on getting Audrey Lynn back with her handspring pike 1/2. Lynn vaulted once last season before getting injured, but she’s back now and should provide another 10.0 start to keep the lineup pretty full of them even when everyone can’t go.
Two athletes who didn’t compete last season—Sheridan Ramsey and Danae Fletcher—both showed Yfulls at Oklahoma’s intrasquad that seem like perfectly reasonable options and should see some time as needed during the season.
2021 Event Ranking: 4
|Lineup locks: Jordan Bowers, Audrey Davis, Karrie Thomas, Katherine Levasseur, Ragan Smith|
|Lineup options: Moorea Linker, Danielle Sievers, Olivia Trautman, Danae Fletcher, Bell Johnson, Meilin Sullivan, Madison Snook, Vanessa Deniz|
I’d rank bars as Oklahoma most exciting event in 2022, with Audrey Davis’s anchor set now joined by Jordan Bowers, who has been strewing 10.0-level routines all over the internet this preseason. Here, Oklahoma shouldn’t suffer a loss in scores compared to last year. Given how many locks there appear to be for this lineup, it’s going to be a tough one to break into, even for very talented bars workers. Katherine Levasseur went into the 9.9s six times last season, while Karrie Thomas did so five times, feats which should keep both of them toward the top of the depth chart. Ragan Smith will surely return to the lineup as well, seeing as it’s Ragan Smith and all, even though her NQS last season was, gasp, below 9.9.
That’s already pretty much the entirety of a lineup, and it does not include Linker or Sievers, both of whom had L10 routines that looked ready to be translated to college without major adjustment. Also don’t overlook Olivia Trautman for the final bars lineup. Because it’s theoretically her #4 event, bars can seem like an afterthought, but she’s absolutely in the 9.900s conversation. Even though we didn’t see her last season, Danae Fletcher is another who has the content and amplitude to make it into the Oklahoma bars lineup, and Meilin Sullivan (returning from missing 2021 with COVID) excelled on bars as a L10 gymnast.
2021 Event Ranking: 2
|Lineup locks: Ragan Smith, Carly Woodard, Audrey Davis, Olivia Trautman, Karrie Thomas|
|Lineup options: Jordan Bowers, Jenna Dunn, Katherine Levasseur, Danielle Sievers, Moorea Linker, Caitlin Kirkpatrick, Vanessa Deniz, Meilin Sullivan|
Beam may end up the event with the least turnover from last year, which would suit Oklahoma just fine as that 2021 group fulfilled the Oklahoma beam legacy of being the team’s strongest lineup. Only Anastasia Webb doesn’t return from last season’s final beam lineup, and given the replacement option of Karrie Thomas, who probably would have been in that championship beam lineup if healthy at the time considering the 9.9s she had been getting, Oklahoma could be in a good place on beam even with entirely returners.
But also I’d 100% have Jordan Bowers in this lineup. She’ll need to be up there with Carly Woodard and Ragan Smith getting the weekly 9.9s to keep this event on top. Audrey Davis should only grow into the beam lineup in her second season, and Olivia Trautman has been the lineup-steadying leadoff for her entire career. Jenna Dunn, who acted in the leadoff role last season when Trautman wasn’t available, should see time once again and provide a realistic final-lineup option. Levasseur is very capable on beam and may see time as she continues, though she competed only once last season for 9.125. Linker and Sievers are probably in that same category. It could happen, but it will be tough to stay in this lineup for anyone who isn’t 9.9ing.
2021 Event Ranking: 6
|Lineup locks: Olivia Trautman, Ragan Smith, Jordan Bowers|
|Lineup options: Danielle Sievers, Emma LaPinta, Moorea Linker, Katherine Levasseur, Bell Johnson, Danae Fletcher, Audrey Davis, Carly Woodard, Vanessa Deniz, Meilin Sullivan|
Oklahoma finished 2nd to Michigan in the final last year for two reasons: Michigan bringing better Yurchenko 1.5 landings on the day, and Oklahoma’s early floor lineup looking uncertain and 9.8y by comparison. While the vault situation was more a day-of, “that’s sports” scenario, the floor lineup was sparse for Oklahoma pretty much the entire year and is most in need of renovation for the 2022 season if the Sooners are to avoid a dip.
Oklahoma’s floor could be very strong in 2022, but that strength is dependent on a number of touch-and-go options. Olivia Trautman is the best FX worker on the team but was not able to compete floor in 2020 and competed in only the final four meets in 2021. Ideally, she’ll be there when it matters, but her routine hasn’t been an all-the-time kind of thing. The next-best FX worker on the team, Ragan Smith, had to check out of floor in early February last season, and neither Trautman nor Smith appeared on floor at the intrasquad, joining absences from Linker and Sievers, two others who really should be in a best-case Oklahoma floor lineup. If all four of them can go, this lineup will be a treat, but if there are gaps, it could suffer from some of the same sparseness as last season. Jordan Bowers will have to carry a lot of responsibility here.
In terms of options, keep an eye on whether Oklahoma can get Katherine Levasseur, Danae Fletcher, and Audrey Davis into the lineup this season. None of these three sophomores competed floor in their first season, which may not bode well, but they all had the goods to be realistic floor lineup members last time we saw them compete in L10. As for the other returners, I expect Emma LaPinta and her 3/1 to see plenty of time, Bell Johnson could return as well after making the final lineup last season, and though Carly Woodard is mostly a beam specialist, she has been giving “floor routine in a pinch if you need it” the last couple years.