All six of the top-seeded teams moved on to NCAA Nationals, which is located in Saint Louis Missouri, during the weekend of April 20-22.
Oklahoma hit the 198.00 total score for the eighth time this season, and Maggie Nichols scored the only 10.0 of the weekend in front of her hometown crowd in Minneapolis. This is her fourth 10.00 score this year on balance beam.
LSU had a solid day in Raleigh with a 197.675 total. The team was led by junior, Sarah Finnegan, and senior, Myia Hambrick, both earning 39.625s in the all-around. The best event of the day came on balance beam, where the Tigers didn’t score below a 9.850. Hambrick led LSU with a 9.925 while freshman, Christina Desiderio, Edney, and Finnegan all scored 9.900s.
UCLA also had a solid day, especially on uneven bars where the Bruins struggled a bit at the Pac-12 championships. Sophomore, Madison Kocian, made her return on uneven bars after having offseason shoulder surgery and scored a 9.875. The Bruins scored a 49.500 event total and did not count a score lower than a 9.875. UCLA was the only team in the top six that did not rely on a single all-around competitor during regionals and finished with a 197.650.
Utah had a huge floor rotation to open the competition with a 49.600. They earned five straight scores of 9.900 or better with Kari Lee, Sydney Soloski, and Missy Reinstadtler earning 9.900s and MyKayla Skinner and MaKenna Merrell-Giles earning 9.950s. Reinstadtler’s biggest moment of the day came on balance beam. The sophomore was up fifth and came after a fall from Lee. Reinstadtler hit a flawless routine to earn a 9.925, which tied for the regional title on beam.
Florida finished with a total score of a 197.725. On floor, all six gymnasts posted a 9.825 or better with Rachel Slocum and Alicia Boren hitting the 9.900 mark. Alex McMurtry won the all-around with a 39.725. The Gators were not as perfect as they could’ve been, they had a fall on both bars and beam, but luckily they didn’t have to count lower than a 9.850 on either event.
After a tight battle in which the Wildcats landed on the outside looking in a year ago, Kentucky came up big in the final rotation to clinch their spot at the NCAA championships for the first time in program history. The Wildcats were in the exact same 12/13 matchup as last season and entering the final rotation were trailing Denver by 0.150. Ella Warren, Mollie Korth, and Katrina Coca earned Kentuck 9.900s on bars while Alex Hyland (9.875), Katie Stuart (9.825), and Katie Carlisle (9.800) rounded out the scoring.
Overall, each of these six teams are very talented and each team has a diverse amount of gymnastics. This years nationals competition should be just as nail biting as previous years since there’s always only a couple tenths of a point that separate the teams final scores. Which team do you believe will win the NCAA National Championships this year?