Yesterday’s semifinals were a pretty smooth ride for UCLA, as they came out on top in session one with a score of 197.5625, just ahead of LSU (197.4750) and Nebraska (197.0125). Session two saw Oklahoma (198.0500), Florida (197.5875), and Pac-12 foe Utah (197.1375) also earn a place in today’s Super Six.
The other reason the semifinals are important is because those are the performances used to determine the NCAA Gymnastics Individual Title. After the first session, UCLA’s gymnasts were in a good position to claim several individual titles.
No one could top Christine Peng-Peng Lee’s 9.9875 score on the balance beam and she is your Beam champion. On the floor exercise, Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols was able to match Katelyn Ohashi’s 9.9625 and they become co-champions.
Utah, UCLA, Florida and Oklahoma all have previous NCAA gymnastics titles in the recent past, with Oklahoma returning as the 2017 defending champs. UCLA’s last national title was in 2010, when everyone on the current team was in elementary school. I’d say we’re about due!
Today’s competition will be nothing less than the best gymnastics we’ve seen all year. These six teams have proven themselves on the regional and national level, and it’s great to see 1⁄3 of the competition coming from the Pac-12. UCLA and Utah have been neck and neck all season, so close that UCLA’s Kyla Ross and Utah’s Mykayla Skinner tied for the Pac-12 All-Around title at the Pac-12 Championships earlier this month.
While the Bruins finished up with the top score in their semifinal yesterday, they are going to have to step it up another notch if they want to win UCLA’s 115th national championship today because yesterday’s score was only the third best for the entire day. Both Oklahoma and Florida scored better than the Bruins yesterday.
While the Bruins did exactly what they needed to do to win their semifinal, hopefully they’ve left enough energy in the tank to comeback and have an even better day today. The good news is that these Bruins know what they are going up against.
Back on Super Bowl Sunday, they faced off against Oklahoma in a dual meet at Pauley Pavilion where the Sooners edged the Bruins 198.050 to 197.950. After that meet, we expected to see both teams competing today. Hopefully, the Bruins can draw on that loss to come out ahead this evening.
UCLA will begin today’s rotations with a bye, then move to bars on rotation two. They will compete on beam in rotation three, and get another bye on rotation four. Rotation five will be on floor, and they will conclude the meet on vault.
This is your NCAA Gymnastics Super Six Final open thread.
Go Bruins! Bring Home NC #115!