No. 7 DU Ready for Big 12 Championship

March 16, 2017

DENVER – The No. 7-ranked University of Denver women’s gymnastics team will compete at the 2017 Big 12 Championship, set for Saturday, March 18, at a neutral site in Frisco, Texas. Joining the Pioneers will be No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 22 West Virginia and Iowa State.

This is Denver’s second season as an affiliate member of the Big 12 Conference.

MEET #13: No. 7 Denver (16-5, 0-2 Big 12) vs. No. 1 Oklahoma (15-0, 3-0 Big 12), No. 22 West Virginia (12-8, 2-1 Big 12) & Iowa State (11-6, 0-2 Big 12)

Date and Time: Saturday, March 18, at 3 p.m. MT
Location: Dr. Pepper Arena/6,000 (Frisco, Texas)
Tickets: Buy Tickets
Live Stream: FloGymnastics ($)
Live Stats: Big 12 live stats
Meet Info: DU meet notes | OU meet notes | WVU meet notes | ISU meet notes
Facebook: /DenverGymnastics | /DenverPioneers
Twitter: @DU_Gymnastics | @DU_Pioneers
Instagram: @DU_Gymnastics | @DenverPioneers

RECORD-SETTING REGULAR SEASON
Denver finished the regular season with some of the highest marks that the program has ever seen, beginning with a new record for Regional Qualifying Score (197.040). Denver has spent eight weeks inside the top 10 in the nation—a new program record—while achieving the highest RQS ranking (No. 7) and the second-highest ranking at any time during the season (No. 7).

Four of the program’s top 10 team scores were set this year. DU recorded a 197.150 three times, which became the sixth-best score in program history. The 197.150 accomplished last Friday at Boise State is the second-highest road score DU has ever earned. The Pioneers also added a 197.125, which is the ninth-best mark in school history.

Last weekend, the Pioneers broke the program record on bars, scoring a 49.450 to top the previous best (49.400), which was tied earlier this season. Denver also tied the seventh-highest bars score (49.325), and tied the third-highest (49.400) and seventh-highest (49.300) beam scores.

Individually, freshman Maddie Karr (Stillwater, Minn.) set the fourth-highest (39.675) and tied the sixth-highest (39.625) all-around scores. She also tied the program record on vault with a perfect 10.0 on vault. Senior Julia Ross (Henderson, Nev.) tied the fifth-best mark on beam (9.950).

BIG 12 HONORS FOR THE PIONEERS
The Big 12 Conference revealed this year’s All-Big 12 Conference Team and Academic All-Big 12 Team this week, both featuring multiple Pioneers.

The All-Big 12 Conference Team features Karr on vault and Ross on beam, each after finishing the regular season in the top three in the conference on their respective events.

The Academic All-Big 12 Team includes five Pioneers: junior Nikole Addison (Fort Myers, Fla.) senior Rachel Fielitz (Walden, N.Y.), sophomore Claire Kern (Charlotte, N.C.), senior Leah Lomonte (Katy, Texas) and Ross.

In total this season, three Pioneers shared five weekly honors from the conference. Karr was named Big 12 Gymnast of the Week twice, as well as Newcomer of the Week once. Freshman Sam Ogden (Allen, Texas) earned one Newcomer of the Week honor, and Lomonte earned Event Specialist of the Week once.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Vault: Karr continues to lead the Pioneers on vault, claiming her seventh-straight title last weekend with a 9.950. Ross, Addison and sophomore Kaitlyn Schou (Orlando, Fla.) have the team’s next-highest season averages while Fielitz has two scores of 9.900 (out of 9.950 start value).

Bars: In DU’s last meet, the Pioneers set a new program record on bars (49.450). Throughout the season, three Pioneers have traded off owning the team’s top score on bars. Ogden has done so in eight meets and has won the title six times. Ross has led the team four times and won the title twice. Since returning to the bars line-up on February 3, sophomore Diana Chesnok (Charlotte, N.C.) has had DU’s top score three times, winning the title each time.

Beam: Ross won a share of the beam title last weekend—her third-straight title on the event, each with a score of 9.900 or higher. Over the season, Ross has the team’s highest average, followed by Schou and Karr. The three have combined for 11 scores of at least 9.900 and nine titles this season.

Floor: Addison took home a share of the floor title last Friday, bringing her season total to seven so far. Based on RQS, Addison, Karr and Schou lead the team, and they have earned at least a share of the title in nine of DU’s 12 meets. Junior Claire Hammen (Loveland, Colo.) is expected to compete for the first time in 2017, returning from injury and debuting in the floor line-up.

EYE ON THE RANKINGS
Denver improved its national ranking this week, moving up to No. 7 with a new program-record RQS of 197.040. The team also achieved program-high RQS rankings on vault (No. 6 with a 49.255 RQS) and on bars (tied for No. 7 with a 49.315 RQS). DU added a No. 8 ranking on beam (49.285) and No. 15 on floor (49.220).

Karr moved up in the individual rankings on vault (No. 6 with a 9.930 RQS) and in the all-around (No. 8 with a 39.490 RQS). She is also tied for No. 25 on floor (9.900).

Ross is tied for No. 11 on beam (9.910) and tied for No. 13 in the all-around (39.410). Addison adds a No. 14 ranking on floor (9.915), and Ogden is tied for No. 16 on bars (9.895).

LAST TIME OUT
Denver finished the regular season with the program’s second-highest road score (197.150) at Boise State on Friday, March 10. DU opened the meet with a record-setting performance on bars, scoring a 49.450 to break the program record. The team also again tied the seventh-highest beam score in program history (49.300).

Karr won the all-around title by tying the sixth-best score in program history (39.625). She also added another title on vault (9.950). Ross won a share of the beam title (9.925) while Addison tied for the top spot on floor (9.925). Ogden led DU on bars, also with a 9.925, to finish second overall.

ABOUT OKLAHOMA
No. 1 Oklahoma won its final regular-season meet at California 197.800-196.775 with at least a share of all five individual titles. The Sooners are the top-ranked team on bars, beam and floor, and are second on vault. Maggie Nichols owns the top national ranking in the all-around and on floor, as well as a share for the top spot on beam with teammate Chayse Capps. Nichols is also tied for No. 2 nationally on bars and tied for No. 4 on vault (with fellow Sooner Brenna Dowell).

ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA
No. 22 West Virginia posted its highest road score of the season (196.100) in a loss to Florida in the team’s last regular season meet. The Mountaineers are No. 19 in the nation on vault, as well as No. 22 on floor. Kirah Koshinski is tied for No. 13 nationally on vault and tied for No. 18 on floor. By RQS, Alexa Goldberg leads WVU on bars and Brooklyn Doggette on beam.

ABOUT IOWA STATE
Iowa State wrapped up its regular season with a season-high 196.600 but lost to Alabama last weekend. Haylee Young won the all-around and is ranked No. 15 nationally in the all-around. The Hawkeyes are not nationally ranked but are inside the top 30 as a team and on all four events. Young has the team’s highest RQS on beam and floor while Meaghan Sievers leads the team on vault and Hilary Green on bars.

THE MATCH-UP
DU and OU met once this season at a quad meet in Oklahoma on February 3 where Oklahoma finished first and Denver second. OU now leads the all-time record against DU 29-7.

Denver also traveled to West Virginia for a quad meet this year on January 29. WVU took the top spot while DU finished second in that meet, though Denver holds an 8-6 all-time record over West Virginia.

DU and Iowa State have not met since last year’s Big 12 Championship where DU finished second and Iowa State fourth.

Oklahoma won last year’s Big 12 Championship with a 198.050. DU finished second (196.725); West Virginia finished third (195.900); and Iowa State placed fourth (195.350).

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