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OU women's gymnastics: Sooners still looking for consistency heading into road stretch

OU's Anastasia Webb performs in the floor routine during a meet against Arizona State on Jan. 10 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]
OU's Anastasia Webb performs in the floor routine during a meet against Arizona State on Jan. 10 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

K.J. Kindler is still looking for consistency for her team.

“We certainly haven’t had a meet yet and by that I mean a great meet on all four events,” the OU women’s gymnastics coach said. “We’ve had a meet where floor has been exceptional, we’ve had a meet where beam has been exceptional, we’ve had a meet where vault has been exceptional, but we haven’t put it all together.

“I’m not surprised by that. The schedule to peak is a little different than it has been in years past.”

The No. 5 Sooners will hit the road for the first of three consecutive meets Sunday when they compete at No. 8 Denver.

“I’m excited about being on the road the next three weeks,” Kindler said. “We really need to get out there and get as much competition as we possible can. There’s a lot of teams in the country that have very limited competition and I feel very grateful and blessed that we have the opportunity to travel.”

Kindler said she’s hoping her team — which is still battling a lengthy list of injuries — can start putting more complete meets together quickly.

“That’s our goal, that’s what we’re looking for is to hit all four of those events at the same time, kind of get on track with everything,” Kindler said. “So that we can then focus on new and different things.

“Kind of like in football — four great quarters, four great events for gymnastics. We want to be on the same page.”

The latest injury for the Sooners is Karrie Thomas, who was held out of the balance beam lineup in OU’s Jan. 31 win over West Virginia due to a hip flexor strain. Thomas was able to compete on the uneven bars.

Thomas’ injury opened the door for Katherine LeVasseur to make her collegiate debut on the beam.

Though she had just a 9.125, Kindler said it was an important step in LeVasseur’s development toward being an all-arounder for the Sooners.

“I think Katherine is one of those athletes that doesn’t hold herself in high enough esteem,” Kindler said. “She’s an amazing athlete, really. Beautiful to watch but also her execution is impeccable. But her confidence still needs to grow a little but so we’re being careful about how we bring her into the lineups.”

LeVasseur has competed in all but the floor exercise this season, though Kindler said LeVasseur was working on the event with an eye toward competing in all four.

“She’s got to get more experiences that she can draw upon, both for the confidence but also to know when those mistakes happen, why they happen and how to avoid them the next time,” Kindler said. “Experience is the greatest teacher and that’s what she needs.”

Kindler said the target date for Carly Woodard’s return to at least the beam lineup was Feb. 19 at North Carolina State while Olivia Trautman, one of the Sooners’ leaders, had started swinging on bars with an eye toward making her season debut March 5 against BYU.

Audrey Davis has yet to begin working out after suffering an ankle sprain Jan. 17 against Utah.

Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›