Oklahoma won its fifth National Collegiate women's gymnastics championship Saturday and junior Ragan Smith delivered a near-perfect performance on her beam routine, earning a score of 9.9625, to clinch the national championship for the Sooners.
It was the best score in the event all day and it came in the day's biggest moment. Smith's routine met the moment, complete with impressive moves like a front aerial, straddle half and handspring swing down, and then she stuck the landing before bursting into the arms of Oklahoma coach K.J. Kindler to celebrate.
RAGAN SMITH WITH THE STICK!!!!!— Oklahoma Women's Gym (@OU_WGymnastics) April 16, 2022
She anchors us with a 9.9625! pic.twitter.com/s80WsFI7X6
"If Ragan Smith can get a 10 — and we know she can get a 10 — they will bump up a tenth and a half," commentator Olivia Karas said as Smith began her routine.
COME BACK: Oklahoma captures fifth national title in come-from-behind win
While Smith's routine was just shy of perfect — 0.0375 points away — it allowed Oklahoma to beat Florida by a similarly razor-thin margin, 198.2000 to 198.0875, a gap of just 0.0125 points. Prior to Smith's championship-clinching beam routine, she had posted the third-lowest score on the floor and the uneven bars, but she came through in the biggest moment.
After the first rotation, the Sooners were in fourth place, but they stormed back to win it all. Utah (197.7500) and Auburn (197.3500) finished in third and fourth overall, respectively.
The Sooners have now won five of the last eight team national championships — 2014 (shared with Florida), 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2022 — and they were the national runners-up in 2013, 2018 and 2021, giving the program eight top-two finishes in a nine-championship span.
FULL BREAKDOWN: Oklahoma wins the 2022 NCAA gymnastics national championship
Remarkably, as if the stakes weren't high enough, with the national championship on the line, during Smith's beam routine, Florida's Trinity Thomas, who had already set the bar high with a perfect 10 with her floor routine on Friday, did it again, finishing another perfect routine while Smith was in the middle of hers. The Florida supporters in attendance could be heard cheering in the background of Smith's beam routine.
"Ragan Smith had a 9.9625," said broadcaster Bart Conner as Oklahoma was announced as the 2022 national champion, moments after Smith's incredible effort, "that's exactly what the Sooners needed."
It sure was.