2024 Big 12 Gymnastics Championship Preview: Oklahoma vs. everyone else

By Micahya Costen | March 22, 2024
Oklahoma's Ragan Smith at the 2023 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships.
© Matthew Smith/Gymnastics Now

Championship Saturday is upon us, and the Big 12 Gymnastics Championship is heading to Norman, Oklahoma, as the host looks to snag a third straight conference title.

How to watch

The meet is on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be streamed on ESPNU. You can follow live scores here.

Since there are five teams in the conference this season, with the addition of BYU, each rotation will feature four teams on an apparatus and one on a “bye”.

Starting order:

  • #1 Oklahoma – Vault
  • #8 Denver – Bye
  • BYU – Bars
  • West Virginia – Beam
  • Iowa State – Floor

#1 Oklahoma

The defending back-to-back national champion, Oklahoma comes into the Big 12 Gymnastics Championship having been No. 1 all season. They’re looking for their third straight conference title and the last before they move to the SEC next season, and barring an uncharacteristic performance, the team competition will be a battle for second place.

Remaining undefeated and strong through the regular season, key individuals like Jordan Bowers (all-around), Ragan Smith (beam), and Audrey Davis (bars) are ones to watch. All three have scored perfect 10s this season and are examples of the exceptional consistency that Oklahoma, as a whole, has come to be known for.

During last week’s regular season finale against No. 7 Alabama, Bowers brought home three event titles, the all-around, and became the first Oklahoma gymnast to earn back-to-back perfect 10s on floor. For her part, Smith broke the school record for most perfect 10s on beam earlier this season when she earned her eighth (Maggie Nichols previously held the record with seven). Davis earned a long-awaited perfect 10 on bars this season; the senior has a 100% career hit rate on bars, floor, and vault.

#8 Denver

The other nationally ranked team at the championship will be the No. 8 Denver Pioneers, who have surpassed the 198 mark twice this season. They’re led by all-arounders Jessica Hutchinson, who has two perfect scores on floor this season, and newcomer Madison Ulrich. A win in OU territory against such a dominant team may be a stretch, but the Pioneers could certainly reach for another 198 and potentially earn some individual titles with their well-rounded roster.

Best of the rest

  • No. 33 BYU is the newcomer to the Big 12, but they’ve acclimated well and will be looking for their second score over 197 on Saturday.
  • No. 36 Iowa State has had a good season under first-year head coach Ashley Miles Greig. Freshman Noelle Adams has been a key contributor on vault, beam, and floor, with a high of 9.95 on the latter event. All-arounder Hannah Loyim is the team’s statistical MVP, having competed all four events in all but two meets this season. This is a crucial meet for the Cyclones as they are currently on the bubble for a spot in the NCAA tournament.
  • No. 51 West Virginia is coming off a season-high 196.000 and will be taking a bow at Big 12s and looking to go out with another season high as the team has been mathematically-eliminated from the NCAA tournament.