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OU women's gymnastics: No. 1 Sooners upset by No. 9 Denver in Big 12 Championship, drop conference title for 1st time since 2011

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Evy Schoepfer and K.J. Kindler

Senior Evy Schoepfer speaks with OU Head Coach K.J. Kindler during the meet against Utah on Jan. 17.

The No. 1 Sooners were stunned by No. 9 Denver in the Big 12 Championships in Morgantown on Saturday, marking the first time Oklahoma has not won the Big 12 Championship since 2011 when it lost to Nebraska.

The Pioneers claimed the title 197.350-197.125-197.050-195.725 over OU, No. 22 Iowa State and West Virginia. Oklahoma began the meet on bars, where freshman Audrey Davis led from the anchor spot with a 9.95. Three others — senior Anastasia Webb, sophomore Ragan Smith and freshman Kat LeVasseur all added 9.9’s as OU put up a 49.500 on the event.

The Sooners continued on beam but junior Olvia Trautman fell in the first spot and sophomore Jenna Dunn only scored a 9.75.  Smith and Webb both added 9.95’s and senior Karrie Thomas scored 9.9 for a 49.400 team score and the lead after two rotations.

OU struggled on floor, where Thomas fell and sophomore Vanessa Deniz only scored a 9.625. Webb went out of bounds for the final routine and Oklahoma’s best score belonged to senior Evy Schoepfer with a 9.85 as the third rotation ended in a tie.

The struggles didn’t end as the Sooners moved to vault. Although Webb and LeVasseur both posted scores above 9.9, a fall from Schoepfer and a 9.775 from junior Emma LaPinta were too much to overcome.

Oklahoma did earn a few individual awards, as Webb claimed the individual title on vault and shared the beam title with Smith. In addition, Webb was named co-Big 12 Gymnast of the Year and Thomas was named Big 12 Event Specialist of the Year.

Neither head coach K.J. Kindler, who was named Big 12 Coach of the Year, or any gymnasts were available to speak to the media afterward in light of the loss. The Sooners move on to NCAA Regional competition from April 1-3 at a site to be determined.

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