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OU women's gymnastics: Sooners beat UCLA, Cal, Stanford in season opener

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Maggie Nichols

Junior Maggie Nichols performs her beam routine at the 2019 Women's National Collegiate Gymnastics Championship in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 20, 2019.

The OU women's gymnastics team began its quest for a second consecutive national title on the right foot on Saturday night, beating No. 4 UCLA, No. 9 California and No. 22 Stanford in the Collegiate Challenge in Anaheim, California. 

The No. 1-ranked Sooners began the night on the vault, where junior Anastasia Webb took center stage with a score of 9.9. The additional contributions of a 9.875 from senior Maggie Nichols and a 9.8 from senior Jade Degouveia helped Oklahoma to a 49.200 score and second place at the end of the first rotation.

Nichols would lead the Sooners in rotation number two with a score of 9.975 on the bars, while freshman Ragan Smith netted a 9.95 and Webb pitched in yet another 9.9, pushing OU into first place with a 98.750 heading to the beam.

The Sooners dominated the third rotation, as Smith led the way with a 9.9 while Nichols and junior Karrie Thomas both earned a 9.85 on the beam, giving OU a 147.975 score and a stronghold on the top spot entering the final rotation.

Nichols finished strong, leading Oklahoma with a 9.925 in the fourth rotation, while Anastasia Webb came through again for the Sooners, earning her third 9.9 score of the night, as OU totaled a 49.375 on the floor.

Oklahoma won the match with a final score of 197.350, the highest total recorded by any team in the NCAA this season. Nichols was the catalyst for the squad as usual, boasting a team-leading 39.625 personal score on the evening. 

Opponents UCLA, Cal and Stanford would finish with tallies of 196.575, 196.200 and 195.475 in second, third and fourth place, respectively. 

After an impressive opening act, Oklahoma will look to continue its winning ways against Arizona State at 5:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 11 in Tempe, Arizona. 

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