BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Oklahoma, Georgia and Louisiana State advanced to the Super Six of the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships.
Oklahoma, last year’s runner-up, led the way in the first semifinal Friday with 197.50 and posted the top team scores on the balance beam and floor exercise. Taylor Spears had the high score on the beam with a 9.925.
“We were actually very excited to start on beam and I was very impressed with how they kept their wits about them,” Sooners coach K.J. Kindler said. “I thought they were aggressive and I think that was really the key to our success, to come out on balance beam and be that strong.”
Ten-time champion Georgia scored 197.30 and fellow Southeastern Conference member Louisiana State finished with 197.10. Stanford, Michigan and Illinois failed to advance.
Sooners teammates Maileana Kanewa and Haley Scaman and Michigan’s Joanna Sampson all scored 9.95 on the floor. Oklahoma will seek its fourth top-three finish since 2010 today.
Sampson led the all-around competitors in the first semifinal with a 39.55. Georgia’s Brandie Jay had the top score on the vault with 9.95 while teammate Lindsey Cheek and Stanford’s Kristina Vaculik both scored 9.925 on the uneven bars.
The second semifinal late Friday night featured defending champion Florida, Alabama, UCLA, Utah, Penn State and Nebraska. The top three teams advanced.
“Without a doubt this will be a super Super Six,” LSU coach D-D Breaux said. “We’ve got so much parity and the teams are so even.”