As we’ve been saying all season, the scores only tell part of the story, and this weekend’s conference championships had everything that makes the postseason so complex and compelling: drama, controversy, and more than a few upsets. All signs point to this being an exceptionally competitive postseason!
Oklahoma blew away the Big 12 competition by over a point. Florida and Michigan outpaced their respective opponents by several tenths each, while the Pac-12 could not have been a tighter race, with the top three teams finishing within a tenth of one another.
- Oklahoma, 198.400
- Michigan, 198.000
- Florida, 198.425
- Utah, 197.925
- UCLA, 197.850
- California, 197.825
We’re running out of superlatives for Oklahoma. This team is so consistently excellent, and its performance in Morgantown was no exception. The Sooners turned in a jaw-dropping 49.800 on beam — the third-highest beam total in NCAA history — en route to their best-ever Big 12s score.
Michigan comfortably won over Big Ten co-champion Michigan State by nearly a half point, largely on the strength of its stellar bar rotation that included four 9.950 routines.
Similarly, Florida cruised to victory against an ultra-competitive field in the SEC evening session. Even compensating for some scoring gifts, the Gators were in a class of their own and looked ready to take on the postseason competition.
Utah is on an upswing after pulling out the win at the exceptionally tight Pac-12 evening session that served as the de facto tie-breaker between the four regular season co-champions. The Utes shouldn’t get too comfortable, though: They’ll have to face host UCLA again at regionals and may very well see Cal at nationals. Either team is capable of out-scoring them on any given day.
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On the Move: This could have easily been a rebuilding year for Alabama after a tumultuous offseason that resulted in a mostly new coaching staff. Instead, the Crimson Tide has stayed competitive with top teams, culminating in its 197.925 and second place finish at the SEC championship.
- Haleigh Bryant, LSU, 9.900
- Jordan Chiles, UCLA, 9.900
- Olivia Trautman, Oklahoma, 9.950
- Chae Campbell, UCLA, 9.900
- Kat Levasseur, Oklahoma, 9.875
- Jade Carey, Oregon State 9.875
Bryant’s front handspring pike half was as exquisite as ever, even with a small hop back separating her from perfection. Chiles and Campbell also had landing adjustments this week, but like Bryant, they are dynamic and clean enough in the air to warrant 9.9s regardless.
Levasseur had to take a substantial cross step out of her Yurchenko one and a half but still walked away as the Big 12 Specialist of the Year. Fellow Sooner Trautman—who almost seems incapable of scoring below a 9.950—won a share of the conference vault title for Oklahoma.
Carey is rightly praised for her ability to dial in the landing of her Yurchenko double full, but she had a rare hop forward to keep her off of the Pac-12 vault podium.
Honorable Mention: Ball State’s Victoria Henry posted a career high 9.950 for her high-flying Yurchenko one and a half to help the Cardinals place second at the MAC championship and secure a berth to regionals.
Freshmen to Watch: A pair of newcomers won Power Five conference vault titles this weekend. Michigan State’s Sage Kellerman shared the Big Ten honor with heavyweights Gabby Wilson and Mya Hooten thanks to her powerful front handspring pike half, while Alabama’s Gabby Gladieux earned a perfect 9.950 for her Yurchenko full to top the podium alongside Sloane Blakely, Jocelyn Moore, and Cassie Stevens.
- Jordan Chiles, UCLA, 9.975
- Trinity Thomas, Florida, 10.000
- Audrey Davis, Oklahoma, 9.950
- Leanne Wong, Florida, 9.950
- Jade Carey, Oregon State, 9.925
- Andi Li, California, 9.900
No perfect scores were awarded at Pac-12s, so Chiles wasn’t able to extend her 10 streak on bars to three, but she came incredibly close as her nailed set still earned her the conference title on the event.
Thomas did achieve perfection—her first bars 10 of the season—to win the SEC bars title and inch closer to that coveted all-time 10s record. Teammate Wong finished as one of several runners-up, playing a key part in the Gators’ massive 49.700 on bars that propelled them to their meet record team score.
To no one's surprise, Davis and her stunning lines took home the Big 12 bars title (shared with teammate Trautman) thanks to her near-automatic 9.950, though her quest for a 10 is extended for another couple of weeks.
Carey concluded her championship with a hit set on bars to secure the Beavers’ fourth place finish. She even managed to outscore one of the Pac-12s best, Li, on her pet event after the latter had a minor adjustment on her full pirouette.
Honorable Mention: Central Michigan’s Hannah Demers matched her career high 9.950 thanks to a soaring Tkatchev and perfectly stuck full-twisting double tuck dismount. Missouri’s Helen Hu is best known for her exemplary beam work, but her 9.950 routine at the SEC championship was one of her best ever.
Freshman to Watch: Fisk’s phenom Morgan Price made history one last time with a well-deserved 9.950, the team’s highest score of any gymnast on any event in its inaugural season.
- Maile O’Keefe, Utah, 9.950
- Luisa Blanco, Alabama 9.950
- Jade Carey, Oregon State, 9.975
- Mya Lauzon, California, 9.975
- Kara Eaker, Utah, 9.950
- Aleah Finnegan, LSU, 9.925
O’Keefe was back with a vengeance after her anomalous fall last week, with just a hint of a correction on her acro series. Meanwhile, teammate Eaker showed no signs of rust in her first routine back since late February, which was arguably the best of the competition.
Instead, the Red Rocks golden duo were two of seven (yes, seven) Pac-12 gymnasts to tie for third behind Lauzon and Carey.
Blanco anchored the Crimson Tide’s first rotation in spectacular fashion. Even with a minor front foot slide on her acro series, it was one of her best routines of the season (which is saying something considering she has three 10s to her name). One rotation later, Finnegan had a noticeable shoulder wave on her second layout stepout, but that was the only obvious error in an otherwise exemplary set.
Honorable Mention: Michigan’s Abby Heiskell and Oklahoma’s Ragan Smith both struggle with consistency on beam but are as good as it gets when they hit, as evidenced by their perfect 10s over the weekend. BYU’s Elease Rollins tied her career high 9.975 ahead of being crowned the MRGC Beam Specialist of the Year for the second year in a row.
Freshman to Watch: The Big 12’s newcomer of the year, Faith Torrez, ended her first conference championship by nearly notching her first 10. Her ever-so-close 9.975 also matches her beam mark from the week before. Floor Trinity Thomas, Florida, 10.000 Jade Carey, Oregon State, 9.975 Jordan Chiles, UCLA, 9.975 Haleigh Bryant, LSU, 9.950 Faith Torrez, Oklahoma, 9.950 Mya Hooten, Minnesota, 9.950
Bryant stuck her first and last tumbling passes outright in what was possibly her best floor performance of the year, but she ultimately took second to Thomas. The Gator star earned career perfect 10 No. 27 on floor to take home another SEC title. She now sits just one 10 away from tying the all-time record.
Consider Carey and Chiles tied in the rankings after the pair tied for the floor title at Pac-12s with their equally spectacular sets. Chiles put on one of the best performances to date while Carey rocked her uber-difficult tumbling. There’s no way to separate the two here.
The Sooners’ superstar freshman, Torrez, won her first conference title by nabbing a share of the win on floor, where her double layout continues to highlight their floor lineup—now as the anchor.
Hooten shared the Big Ten title with Iowa’s Jerquavia Henderson, as the two have been the conference’s standout floor workers all season long. The edge here goes to Hooten, who’s winning total came from the afternoon session of the meet, meaning her giant full-in set a high bar early.
Honorable Mention: Big 12 Gymnast of the Year Jessica Hutchinson rebounded from an unusual 9.850 last weekend with a 9.950 to share a piece of the conference floor title. Her perfect 10 earlier this season should be a huge confidence booster throughout the postseason.
Freshman to Watch: Kayla DiCello has honed in on the landing of her front double full and earned herself a runner-up finish on the event at SECs. The rookie all-arounder is set to play a major role in Florida’s run for a title.
- Trinity Thomas, Florida, 39.800
- Jade Carey, Oregon State, 39.750
- Jordan Chiles, UCLA, 39.150
- Selena Harris, UCLA, 39.625
- Haleigh Bryant, LSU, 39.550
- Jordan Bowers, Oklahoma, 39.700
Thomas is one of the all-time greats, and she successfully defended her SEC title against a thoroughly stacked field that included nine of the top 25 all-arounders in the country. Her two 10s from the competition bring her total up to 27, just one away from tying Jamie Dantzscher and Jenny Hansen for the most in NCAA history.
Even the hottest streaks have to end eventually. Chiles turned in an outstanding performance, save for beam where she had her first fall of the season on any event. The ever-steady Carey was ready to capitalize on Chiles’ error, earning her second consecutive Pac-12 all-around title. Freshman sensation Harris capped off her postseason debut with a third place finish overall
Bryant was good, but not quite as sharp as she was last week when she snagged three perfect 10s. Still, her floor routine was a highlight of the championship.
Bowers is back in the rankings after a few off weeks. The Sooners switched-up the order of her tumbling passes on floor, and it seems to have made all the difference in her hit rate.
Honorable Mention: Karley McClain led the Southern Utah Flippin’ Birds to their first MRGC championship with a career high 39.525. In addition to winning the floor and all-around titles, the graduate student also snagged Floor Specialist and Gymnast of the Year honors.
Freshman to Watch: Ohio State’s Payton Harris held her own against some of the biggest stars in the country with a 39.450. The former five-star recruit led the team to its highest Big Ten championship finish in over a decade.