The Oklahoma Sooners were crowned NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Co-National Champions Saturday in Birmingham, Ala. The Sooners claimed their first national title with a score of 198.175.
OU finished tied with Florida at the top, marking the first time there have been co-winners at the NCAA Division I Women’s Gymnastics Championships. It is the first gymnastics title for the Big 12.
The Sooners notched big routines on every event as they set program-best records at an NCAA Championship on every event.
OU started the night off on bars with a 49.500. The Sooners earned their best score since the Big 12 Championships behind a career-high 9.95 from Keeley Kmieciak in the No. 4 spot and efforts of 9.925 from anchor Taylor Spears and 9.9 from Erica Brewer.
Oklahoma tallied a 49.525 on the beam after a career-best-tying 9.925 for Rebecca Clark in the anchor position.
Following the third rotation, the meet was near-deadlocked as all teams had two events under their belts. Alabama led the way at 99.150, followed by a 99.050 from Florida, OU's 99.025, LSU with 98.725, Nebraska at 98.500 and Georgia at 98.250.
The Sooners moved to floor exercise and recorded no scores lower than 9.9 on all six routines. Scaman and senior Lara Albright led the way, with each earning incredible efforts of 9.95
Oklahoma scored a 49.550 on vault, including 9.950s from Chayse Capps and Haley Scaman. Maileana Kanewa and Keeley Kmieciak added 9.900s. The final event score made Oklahoma only the sixth team in NCAA women’s gymnastics history to win a national championship.
Oklahoma now has four top-three NCAA finishes since 2010 and has finished no lower than seventh in those five years.Oklahoma will wrap up a packed NCAA weekend tomorrow at the Individual Event Finals. The 2 p.m. meet will see OU gymnasts Lara Albright (FX), Chayse Capps (BB), Maile'ana Kanewa (V, FX), Haley Scaman (V, FX), and Taylor Spears (BB, UB) will all compete for a shot at an individual national championship on their respective events. The meet will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com.