FORT WORTH, Texas - The No. 15 Mizzou gymnastics team placed third at the 2019 Metroplex Challenge with a team score of 196.200 on Saturday night at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas. No. 1 Oklahoma scored a 197.975 to take the team crown, followed by No. 7 Denver with a 196.350, and No. 21 Arkansas took fourth after a 195.825.
The meet also counted as the Southeastern Conference matchup between the Tigers and Razorbacks, with Mizzou improving to 1-2 in league action with the win.
Mizzou opened the meet with a 49.925 on beam in the first rotation. Senior Britney Ward (Ozark, Mo.) anchored the rotation with a team-high 9.875 for her fourth score of at least 9.85 this season. Junior Mary Nicholson (North Richland Hills, Texas) put up a 9.825, while senior Allison Bower (Mesa, Ariz.) went 9.775 and senior Brooke Kelly (Birmingham, Ala.) earned a 9.75.
The Tigers notched their second-best floor performance in the second rotation, going 49.100 on the event. Four Tigers claimed scores of 9.8 or higher, with three posting 9.85s. Junior Aspen Tucker (Lehigh Acres, Fla.), Bower and Nicholson all earned marks of 9.85, while redshirt junior Morgan Porter (Overland, Mo.) went 9.8. Additionally, sophomore Gabrielle Gottula posted a score of 9.75 in only her second time in the floor lineup.
A season-best 49.275 on vault put Mizzou in a solid position with one rotation remaining. Putting up five gymnasts, two gymnasts went career-best and the three others earned season-highs. Tucker closed the rotation with a 9.9, which tied her career-high, and Gottula also went a career-best with a 9.825. Posting season-highs were Ward with a 9.875, Porter with a 9.85, and senior Madeleine Huber (St. Louis, Mo.) with a season-best-tying 9.825.
Missouri totaled 49.000 on bars to conclude the night. Huber anchored with a 9.9, which was a season-best. Additionally, Porter posted a score of 9.85 and Kelly notched a 9.8, also a season-high.
Mizzou Head Coach Shannon Welker "I'm really pleased with how we rebounded from last weekend. We wanted to come out and show we are a better team than we displayed last weekend. This was an awesome environment and I was looking to see how we would respond. It's a postseason-type environment and it was a great opportunity for us to see where we are and how we perform in this type of venue. We had a lot of new people in the lineups tonight, some good performances, showed some toughness and kept our composure very well."
The Tigers return home to the Hearnes Center on Friday, Feb. 1 to host No. 9 Alabama at 7:30 p.m. CT in a meet televised live on the SEC Network.