Oklahoma Caps Incredible Season With An NCAA Title

In the inaugural Four on the Floor final of the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships, the Oklahoma Sooners won the team title and are back on top after scoring a huge 198.3375. The LSU Tigers had another runner-up finish and earned their highest NCAA Championship score with a 197.8250 ahead of last year's champion UCLA Bruins, who were in third with a 197.5375. The Denver Pioneers concluded their season with a fourth-place finish, their best ever final ranking in program history, with a 197.0000.

Oklahoma led the meet right away after one rotation and maintained the top spot for the entire meet. But it wasn't easy to stay on top, and LSU put up a fight. The first rotation had Oklahoma on bars with six hit routines. Half of the lineup scored 9.9000+, and Maggie Nichols led with a 9.9375. LSU had the advantage of competing in Olympic order, starting on vault. It wasn't LSU's best vault rotation as only one vault earned a score in the 9.9000 range. That performance came from lead-off Sarah Finnegan, who vaulted a near-perfect Yurchenko full for a 9.9125. 

UCLA began defense of its 2018 title on beam. Grace Glenn and Brielle Nguyen started the rotation well with a 9.9000 and 9.8500, respectively, but Madison Kocian had a big break and bent down on one of her skills, breaking the rhythm of the lineup, and earned just a 9.6625. Norah Flatley picked things up with a beautiful beam set for a 9.9125, and despite a pretty big balance check on her acro series, Katelyn Ohashi earned a 9.8000. Kyla Ross finished the rotation strong with a 9.9250.

Denver had a bit of a rough start on floor as Maddie Karr went out of bounds on her Rudi to finish, so Claire Kern's 9.7625 had to count. After one, Oklahoma led with a 49.4500, followed by UCLA with a 49.3875, LSU close behind with a 49.3750, and Denver with a 49.2000.

Despite being only four inches wide, balance beam posed no problem for the Sooners as they moved to the apparatus in the second rotation. Every routine was a 9.8625 or higher, including four scores in the 9.9000 range. Nichols continued to lead her team with a 9.9625. The Sooners finished beam with a 49.6125. The Tigers had a bit of a slow start on bars after Sami Durante was low on her dismount for a 9.7750, but the rest of the lineup picked it up with Finnegan earning a 9.9500 to lead the apparatus for the entire meet. The SEC champions' bar total was a 49.4625.

Floor also gave the Bruins some trouble, as Felicia Hano and Gracie Kramer both went out of bounds, but Katelyn Ohashi finished her gymnastics career on a very strong note with a 9.9500, giving them a 49.3000 on floor. The Pioneers were solid on vault, but just not as sharp or clean, scoring in the 9.9000 range just once for an event total of 49.2125.

Halfway through the competition, the Oklahoma Sooners stayed on top with a 99.0625. LSU moved ahead of UCLA with a 98.8375. UCLA had a 98.6875, and Denver had a 98.4125.

In the third rotation, the floor errors continued. Oklahoma's Evy Schoepfer over-rotated her double tuck and fell back and out of bounds, but luckily, the rest of its lineup hit and received four scores of 9.9250 or higher for a big 49.6500 total. LSU was consistent and steady on beam, earning scores in the 9.8000 range for the first five routines, and Finnegan nailed her final beam routine with a 9.9500. LSU had another event total of 49.4625.

Vault was solid for UCLA, counting scores only above 9.8000. Ross nailed another Yurchenko full for a 9.9500 to lead UCLA's 49.4250 lineup. Denver continued to be solid on bars and counted five scores in the 9.8000 range for a 49.2375. 

Entering the final rotation, Oklahoma maintained its lead with a 148.7125, with LSU not far behind with a 148.3000. UCLA stayed in third with a 148.1125, and Denver maintained its fourth place standing with a 147.6500.

Vault allowed the Sooners to quickly get through its final rotation. The Sooners had six strong vaults, but the highlight was Brenna Dowell's stuck Yurchenko 1.5 to anchor the rotation, clinch the title, and end her career with a huge 9.9875. A 49.6250 on vault gave the Sooners a 198.3375 that put them in the lead.

With the leading team ending on the quickest and highest scoring event, the other teams were realistically competing just for the runner-up spot. LSU finished strong on floor as Christina Desiderio led off with a big 9.9000. Then Finnegan and McKenna Kelley anchored with a pair of 9.9500s to end their gymnastics careers and give their team second place. A 49.5250 on floor put LSU behind Oklahoma with a 197.8250.

UCLA had a good uneven bars lineup that scored a 49.4250, but it just wasn't enough to defend its title or be the runner-up. UCLA finished with a 197.5375. Though Denver was at the bottom of the scoreboard for the entire meet, the Cinderella-story team saved their best event for last with beam. All of Denver's scores were higher than 9.8250, and senior Kaitlyn Schou finished her gymnastics career and ended her team's season on a high note with a 9.9375. Denver ended the meet with a 197.0000 to end its 2019 season on a historic note, finishing as the No. 4 team in the country and making the first four-team women's gymnastics championship final.

These NCAA Teams Had The Best Showing At 2019 JO Nationals

This past weekend was Junior Olympic Nationals, and many of the competitors have already committed to NCAA teams, some being 2019 graduates and others not finishing high school until 2022. Although this competition had no true impact on NCAA standings, we ranked the top NCAA teams based on their incoming gymnasts’ performances, just for fun!

Ana Padurariu Aims For Confidence & Consistency Despite Setback

Aly Raisman once said "Simone [Biles is] just in her own league. Whoever gets second place, that's the real winner." That would make Canada's Ana Padurariu the "real winner" of the 2019 Stuttgart World Cup, as she finished second at the all-around competition behind Biles.

Master List: College Commitments For 2019 J.O. Nationals Qualifiers

Over 650 of the top level 10s in the country will be competing at USA Gymnastics' 2019 J.O. National Championships May 18-19 in Indianapolis. Many of these gymnasts have already committed to or even signed their National Letter of Intent for an NCAA gymnastics program. Below is the full roster for JO's (current from USAG as of May 14) along with intended colleges for those who have already committed.

Ashton Locklear Announces Gymnastics Retirement

World Champion and Olympic Alternate Ashton Locklear announced her retirement from gymnastics on May 16, 2019. 

Gabryel Wilson Determined To Make Last JO Nationals Count

Growing up, Gabryel Wilson didn't know what college gymnastics was. When she began the sport, it was simply what she did after school. Then, like many young gymnasts, the Olympics were her dream. But things changed when colleges started paying attention to her.

NCAA Finalists Well-Represented At JO Nationals

Not many gymnastics fans could have predicted which NCAA teams would finish in this year’s top four. With Oklahoma, LSU, UCLA, and Denver finishing the 2019 season on top, some might be wondering what next season will look like for these teams. 

4 Standout Gymnasts To Watch At The 2019 JO Nationals

In club gymnastics, gymnasts compete all year to qualify to state. At state the top competitors qualify to regionals, and from there, only a select few gymnasts move onto nationals. Because of these intense qualifications, Junior Olympic (JO) Nationals is a competition of the best club gymnasts each year, and so much talent is showcased there.

Chris Waller Named UCLA Head Coach

Chris Waller has been named the new head coach of the UCLA gymnastics team. Waller takes over for longtime head coach Valorie Kondos Field, who led the Bruins for 29 years.

Olympic Team Size Returns To Five In 2024

The International Gymnastics Federation announced changes to the qualifying procedures for the Olympic Games and the format of the World Championships. Most notably, the team size for artistic gymnastics will return to five members for the 2024 Olympic Games, pending approval from the International Olympic Committee.

Gymnasts To Watch At Elite Canada Trampoline & Tumbling

Canada's best trampoline and tumbling gymnasts are set to compete at the 2019 Elite Canada trampoline and tumbling competition from May 3-5 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  All three days of competition will stream live here on FloGymnastics. The meet will include competition in individual and synchronized trampoline, tumbling, and double mini-trampoline.