Sooners move into Super Six Final
Oklahoma posts top national semifinal score in program history
CLEVELAND -- Third-seeded Oklahoma advanced to its second consecutive NCAA Super Six Team Final on Friday after winning the first semifinal session with a score of 196.775.
OU posted its program-best score in an NCAA semifinal with the team total. The Sooners set their previous best last season with a 196.550 the first semifinal.
Joining the Sooners in the Super Six from the first semifinal are No. 2 UCLA and No. 6 Michigan. Michigan finished the meet with a 196.700 after a 49.375-showing on bars. The Bruins finished in third place after counting a fall on beam in the final rotation.
OU ended on a bye after posting a 49.175 on beam. The Sooners were the only school in the first semifinal without a fall on beam.
Four Sooner gymnasts qualified for Sunday's individual event finals. Megan Ferguson will compete on both bars and beam, Madison Mooring will compete on vault, Kayla Nowak on bars and Natasha Kelley on beam.
The Sooners earned a program record 11 All-American honors with Friday's performance.
Ferguson led the team with three All-American awards, as the junior was named first team on bars and beam and second team on floor. Joining Ferguson as All-Americans were Kelley (beam - first team, bars - second team), Mooring (vault - first team, beam - second team), Nowak (bars - first team, beam - second team), Brie Olson (bars - second team) and Sara Stone (vault - second team).
Oklahoma opened the competition with a 49.000 on floor in the first rotation. Ferguson led the team on floor with a 9.85 on the event. The score was Ferguson’s 13th consecutive score of 9.825 or higher on floor this season. Stone and Mooring both added 9.8s for the Sooners on the apparatus, while Spears and Olson both scored a 9.775.
The Sooners jumped Georgia after the second rotation after their 49.225-showing on vault, as OU and UGA were the only schools without a bye in the first two rotations.
OU’s team vault total was its fourth-highest vault score of the season. All six gymnasts in OU’s vault lineup scored a 9.8 or higher, paced by Mooring’s career-high 9.9 on the event. Stone added a 9.875 on the event for the Sooners. The junior has scored at least a 9.825 in all 14 of OU’s competitions this season.
Senior Melanie Root scored a 9.85 on vault, while Kelley, Olson and Hope Bruce each added a 9.8.
OU stood in second place at the halfway mark, trailing UCLA by.500. The Sooners had a bye in the third rotation, while the Bruins posted a 49.450 on vault to take the lead.
The Sooners posted a 49.375 in the fourth rotation to take the lead out of the four teams with three event scores at 147.600. OU’s bars score was its fourth-highest of the season and was its eighth score of 49.000 or higher on the apparatus. Ferguson and Nowak led the team with a pair of 9.9s. Ferguson’s 9.9 was her 12th score of 9.9 or higher overall this season and her fourth on bars.
Nowak tied her career-high with the 9.9, which she previously set in OU’s regional performance on April 2 in Norman. OU added four scores of 9.8 or higher to take the lead. Kelley and Olson both scored a 9.875, Spears posted a 9.825 while Hayden Ward added a 9.8.
The Sooners clinched their spot in the Super Six with a 49.175 on beam, paced by Ferguson’s 9.925 and Kelley’s 9.9 in the final two routines.
Ferguson and Kelley have combined to score a 9.9 or higher 13 times on beam this season. The duo has scored a 9.825 or higher in 26 of 28 opportunities.
Mooring and Nowak both added a 9.8 for the Sooners, while senior Natalie Ratcliff posted a 9.75.