Evy Schoepfer competes on vault. Photograph: YouTube

The 2018 NCAA season is still months away, but it is never too early to start knowing the incoming freshman class of each team. This is both a way to begin thinking of potential lineups, and a way to get to know less well-known gymnasts and their routines.

The first freshman class we will analyse is #1 Oklahoma’s. The Sooners are the current National champions, a title they also won also in 2016 and 2014.

Oklahoma said goodbye to six stunning seniors: Chayse Capps, who was one of the most solid all arounders in the NCAA; Charity Jones, who was a solid lead-off performer on vault, beam and floor; McKenzie Wofford, who was a fantastic bars specialist; Nicole Turner, who contributed from time to time especially on floor; Kara Lovan, who was particularly strong on beam; and Reagan Hemry, who retired due to medical reasons.

Oklahoma will welcome four freshmen, who all have huge potential: Jordan Draper, from Bedford, Texas; Abigail Matthews, from Virginia Beach, Virginia; Evy Schoepfer, from Ames, Iowa; and Anastasia Webb, from Morton Grove, Illinois.

JORDAN DRAPER

Jordan Draper trains at Empire Gymnastics. She finished eighteenth in the all around at the 2016 JO National Championships, as well as twelfth on both bars and floor. In 2016 she was also Region 3 champion on floor and finished fourth in the all around. In 2017, she finished third at the State Championships and was twelfth in the all around at the Regional Championships.

Draper is a good all arounder, but excels especially on beam and floor. On beam, she has the calmness and long lines Oklahoma’s head coach K. J. Kindler loves. And on floor, she has beautiful lines and precision, which is typical of Oklahoma gymnasts. Her double pike on floor is especially pretty, sky-high and with pointed toes in the air. She will be a great asset for the Sooners next season.
Draper also has her own YouTube channel, where you can watch her routines and upgrades.



ABIGAIL MATTHEWS

Abigail Matthews trains at Cincinnati Gymnastics, a gym that discovered such future world and Olympic champions as Amanda Borden, Jaycie Phelps, Dominique Moceanu and Kim Zmeskal.
Matthews competed at the 2017 JO National Championships, where she finished sixteenth in the all around and fifth on the uneven bars. At the Region 5 Championships in April she also finished second on bars and third on floor. Last year, she finished sixth on the uneven bars at the JO National Championships. Matthews was also an elite gymnast back in 2014 and competed at the Secret U.S. Classic that year.

Matthews’ best apparatuses are bars and beam. She already has a perfect routine for the NCAA, which includes a Stalder Tkachev, a Pak salto and a clean double tuck dismount. On beam, she has some innovative skills, such as a back handspring with one hand. Sometimes she shows some nerves on beam, but K. J. Kindler is the master of balance beam, and will certainly know how to deal with it.



EVY SCHOEPFER

Evy Schoepfer trains at Triad Gymnastics. She qualified for five consecutive years for the JO National Championships (2013–2017) and finished in the top-ten in the all around in the four past editions. At this year's JO Championships, she finished second in the all around. Schoepfer also competed at the Nastia Liukin Cup in 2015 and finished eleventh.

Schoepfer is a powerful athlete and has a big potential as an all arounder. She however excels on floor, where she has an engaging routine and performs a huge double layout.



ANASTASIA WEBB

Anastasia Webb trains at IGI, the same gym where former Sooner Haley Scaman trained. She finished seventh in the all around this year at the JO National Championships, and tied for first on vault, where she scored an NCAA-worth 9.900. She was also the Region 5 all around champion in April. Webb also competed at the Nastia Liukin Cup in 2017, where she placed eleventh. Webb also competed as an elite gymnast in 2014, and competed at the Secret U.S. Classic as a junior.

Webb has potential as an all arounder, but her best apparatuses are vault and floor. On vault, she performs a very solid Yurchenko front pike. On floor, she is a twister, but she has beautiful lines and hard combination passes.



Good luck to the future Sooners!

By Talitha Ilacqua


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WOGymnastikA is a blog turned website which brings you the latest updates on women’s artistic gymnastics as well as exclusive interviews with your favorite gymnasts. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us on wogymnastika@gmail.com .

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