Mar. 7, 2018
DENVER -- The No. 15-ranked University of Denver women's gymnastics team begins the final stretch of the regular season with a trip to No. 1 Oklahoma with fellow top-15 teams No. 10 Arkansas and No. 12 Arizona State on Friday, March 9, at 6 p.m. MT.
For the first time this season, DU will compete twice the same week. Friday's meet comes just four days after DU hosted Southern Utah in the team's home finale and won the meet with a season-high 197.300 to tie the third-highest score in program history.
BIG 12 BACK TO BACK
Friday's meet marks the first of three consecutive Big 12 Conference meets for DU. DU will first compete against No. 1 Oklahoma on Friday before seeing No. 25 Iowa State in a tri meet at Arkansas on March 16. All three teams will join West Virginia at the 2018 Big 12 Championships hosted by Iowa State on March 24.
So far, DU is 1-0 against Big 12 opponents this year, topping West Virginia in a home meet on February 10.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Vault: DU tied a season high on vault (49.275) on Monday with four scores of 9.850 or higher, led by a 9.900 from sophomore Maddie Karr (Stillwater, Minn.). Three Pioneers set or tied career highs during the rotation: junior Diana Chesnok (Charlotte, N.C.), freshman Mia Sundstrom (Boulder, Colo.) and freshman Emily Glynn (Longmont, Colo.). Karr, senior Nikole Addison (Fort Myers, Fla.) and Chesnok have DU's top RQSs on the event.
Bars: Karr set a new personal best and tied the seventh-highest bars score in program history (9.950) during Monday's meet. Freshman Lynnzee Brown (Kansas City, Mo.) tied for second overall after matching her career high (9.875) while junior Claire Kern (Charlotte, N.C.) and Chesnok each earned 9.825s. By RQS, Karr and Brown lead the team. Sundstrom, Chesnok and Kern make it five DU bars workers with RQSs of at least 9.800.
Beam: For the second time this season, Karr tied the fifth-best beam mark in school history with her career-tying 9.950. Junior Kaitlyn Schou (Orlando, Fla.) added a 9.925--only .025 off her personal best. Brown returned to the beam line-up on Monday, tying her career high (9.875). Chesnok, too, scored a 9.875 to set a new personal best. Schou and Karr both own RQSs of at least 9.900 to lead the team.
Floor: DU's floor line-up captured the meet's top six scores--all above 9.800--on Monday, seeing Karr (9.925), Addison (9.900) and Schou (9.875) sweep the podium. Sundstrom, Kern and Glynn added matching 9.825s, which became new personal bests for Kern and Glynn. Three Pioneers have an RQS above 9.850 on the event this year: Karr, Addison and Schou.
EYE ON THE RANKINGS
Denver did not compete last week, leaving its RQS unchanged (196.360) and putting the team in the No. 15 spot in this week's rankings. DU is also No. 9 on vault (49.175), No. 16 on floor (49.230) and No. 19 on beam (49.105).
Karr holds four individual rankings, highlighted by her tie for No. 7 in the all-around (39.535). She also owns the No. 14 spot on vault (9.890), is tied for No. 14 on floor (9.905) and tied for No. 17 on bars (9.895).
Schou is also ranked in beam this week, coming in tied for No. 18 (9.895).
DU's scores from Monday night (197.300) and Friday night at Oklahoma will both be factored into the rankings released on March 12.
LAST TIME OUT
Denver closed out its home schedule with a season-high 197.300, which tied the third-highest team score in program history. The team set or tied season highs on vault (49.275) and beam (49.425), with the beam mark becoming the third-best score in program history.
Karr won all five individual titles outright, taking the all-around with a 39.725, tying the program's third-best score. All four of her scores were at or above 9.900 including 9.950s on bars and beam, both in DU's top-10 all-time best scores.
Six Pioneers set or tied at least one career high during the meet.
The Sooners are the top ranked team in the country overall and on two events (vault and beam). They posted the nation's highest score (198.375) last week at home against Michigan with Maggie Nichols taking home at least a share of the all-around and all four event titles. Nichols holds national rankings inside the top two on all five individual events including the No. 1 spot in the all-around and ties for the top ranking on bars and beam.
The Razorbacks set a new season high (197.275) last weekend at home against Arizona, sweeping all five individual titles. Arkansas is ranked inside the top 10 overall and on bars and beam. One Razorback is ranked on each event: Braie Speed on vault, Amanda Wellick on bars, Sophia Carter on beam and Sarah Shaffer on floor.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE
The Sun Devils earned a 196.525 at Minnesota over the weekend to start a run of four-straight away meets to finish the regular season. ASU is inside the top 20 nationally on all four events including No. 14 on beam and No. 15 on bars. Cairo Leonard-Baker is No. 10 in the all-around, tied for No. 12 on bars and tied for No. 14 on floor to lead the team in the individual rankings.
DU is 7-31 all-time against Oklahoma including three meetings last season. The teams last faced off at the NCAA National Championships in Semifinal I where OU earned a 197.725 and DU a 196.475. Denver also made the trip to Oklahoma on February 3, 2017, while the teams added another meeting at the Big 12 Championships on March 18.
Denver holds a 5-2 all-time record against Arkansas including a win last year at the NCAA Regionals in Fayetteville on April 1 where DU topped Arkansas 197.050-196.600. The teams have never met at a neutral site. This will be the first of two meetings in the span of seven days between the two teams with DU travelling to Arkansas next Friday, March 16.
DU won its last meeting against Arizona State 196.350-193.275 on January 14, 2017, in Denver, and now has a 6-13 record against ASU. The two teams last met at neutral site on January 25, 2015, in a quad meet at California where DU topped ASU 195.500-192.650. Denver also earned wins in 2012 and 2013 over Arizona State with their next most recent meeting coming in 2006.
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