ST. LOUIS, Mo. - NCAA gymnastics Super Six team final format concluded with bang Saturday in front of a sold-out Chaifetz Arena crowd of 6,800.
UCLA surged past two-time defending champion and top-seeded Oklahoma with a perfect score from its balance beam anchor to claim the Bruins' seventh NCAA team title. UCLA's winning margin of 0.0375 is the narrowest in the 37-year history of the NCAA Championships.
The Gators also made a move on the final rotation, edging Southeastern Conference champion Louisiana State to take third for the second consecutive year.
UCLA won at 198.075, followed by Oklahoma (198.0375), Florida (197.85), LSU (197.8375), Utah (196.90) and Nebraska (196.80).
Florida's 197.85 equals the program's second highest among its 16 NCAA Super Six appearances.
The Gators in Saturday's Super Six Competition:
The Gators were solid on each event Saturday.
For the first time since 2014, Florida drew the Olympic rotation for the NCAA Super Six. Florida opened the meet with a 49.4125 on vault - the No. 5 total for UF in NCAA Super Six competition. Junior Alicia Boren led Florida with a 9.9375, which tied for fourth overall. Senior Rachel Slocum also earned a 9.9125.
Florida came off of bye to uneven bars where they turned in a 49.5375. That equals the No. 2 highest total for Florida in Super Six bars action. McMurtry led Florida with a near-perfect 9.975, which trailed only the 10.0 by UCLA's Peng-Peng Lee. Florida also got a pair of 9.9s from freshman Megan Skaggs and sophomore Amelia Hundley.
On beam, the Gators turned in a 49.3375, its third-highest ever in the NCAA Super Six. Freshman Alyssa Baumann's 9.9375 stands No. 3 for Florida in NCAA Super Six beam competition. She shared fourth overall in Saturday's Super Six competition. The 10.0 by UCLA's Lee - her second of the evening - moved UCLA to the top of the team standings. Sophomore Rachel Gowey also posted a 9.9125 in Florida's beam rotation.
Florida finished the meet on floor exercise uneven bars with a 49.5625 - the second-highest floor total for the meet and No. 3 for the Gators this season. It also ranks as the program's fourth-highest in Super Six competition. For the second consecutive evening, Baumann led UF on floor with a collegiate-best 9.95. She tied for second in the Super Six floor standings. A total of four Gators posted floor marks better that 9.9 Saturday - Boren (9.9375), Amelia Hundley (9.925) and McMurtry (9.9125)
Boren took third in the all-around at 39.5375. OU's Maggie Nichols, who won the NCAA all-around title last night, also topped the standings Saturday at 39.775. LSU's Myria Hambrick was second at 39.6625.
- Florida took third in the NCAA Super Six. The Gators have finished in the top four in each of the last seven NCAA Super Six competitions (1st - 2013, 2014, 2015; 2nd - 2012; 3rd - 2017, 2018 & 4th - 2016)
- The gap of 0.225 between first and third is the second narrowest in the 37-year history of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships.
- Florida is the only team to advance to each of the final seven NCAA Super Six team finals. The Gators appeared in 16 of the possible 26 Super Six team finals.
- Alex McMurtry is the only gymnast in the 26-year history of the NCAA Super Six to earn an uneven bars 10.0 (2017) and a 9.975 (2018).
LSU earns a team score of 197.8375, the highest Super Six score in school history
ST. LOUIS - In what was the closest and thrilling NCAA Championships ever, the LSU gymnastics team capped off an outstanding 2018 season with a team score of 197.8375, the highest Super Six score in school history, to finish fourth nationally Saturday evening at Chaifetz Arena.
"It was a fabulous meet," LSU gymnastics head coach D-D Breaux said. "The lead changed and momentum changed. We fought no matter what. I can't ask for much more than that. We had some great performances across the board from different people. There was just so much competition out there. It was so exciting."
The Tigers wrapped up the season with a record of 33-5 for the second-most wins in school history. The squad extended the NCAA Gymnastics record of team scores with a 197 or better to 38 and have now reached that benchmark in every single meet for the last two seasons.
Senior Myia Hambrick wrapped up her outstanding career by finishing second in the all-around with a score of 39.6625, the highest at an NCAA Championships for an LSU gymnast in school history.
"Myia was amazing tonight," Breaux added. "She did a beautiful job on bars to start and got better as the night went on. I can't say enough of what she did on floor and vault. I don't think I've ever see her do a better vault than what she did tonight. She just epitomizes what an LSU gymnast should be."
Edney, Priessman Score 9.95s to Start on Bars
After a first rotation bye, Hambrick recorded a strong 9.875 in the second spot to get the meet started for the Tigers. Ruby Harrold nailed her routine and earned a 9.8875. Kennedi Edney and Lexie Priessman earned the stick crown with their 9.95 routines, and Finnegan anchored with a 9.8125. The 49.4750 total score tied the Tigers' second-best bar event score in LSU postseason history.
Solid Beam Routines Propel LSU Before Second Bye
In the third rotation, Hambrick notched a solid 9.8875, Edney scored a 9.8375 in the third spot, and freshman Christina Desiderio followed with a 9.875. The Tigers built on each of their scores in the final two spots as freshman Reagan Campbell performed a beautiful routine for a 9.875 to set a new career high.
Finnegan anchored rock solid with 9.9375. LSU dropped the 9.7375 that Erin Macadaeg scored in the leadoff spot in her final routine as a Tiger. After the third rotation, LSU had compiled a 49.3875. At that point, LSU sat in third place with a 98.8625 behind Oklahoma and Florida at the halfway point of the meet.
Finnegan, Hambrick Score Large in Floor
Ashlyn Kirby recorded a 9.85 in the leadoff spot, and Desiderio posted a 9.90 to set a new career high with a beautiful routine. Edney earned a 9.8625 in the fourth spot. Finnegan and Hambrick went back-to-back 9.95s to close out the rotation with a 49.5125 on the floor.
LSU Closes Consistent Meet On Vault
Freshman Sarah Edwards set a career high in the first stuck vault of her career to set a career high 9.95. Harrold followed with a 9.825. In the fourth spot, Julianna Cannamela scored a 9.875. In the final routine of her career, Hambrick drilled a 9.95 in the fifth spot, and Edney closed out the competition with a 9.8625.