UCLA gymnastics heads to Super Six after standout semifinal routines

UCLA gymnastics heads to Super Six after standout semifinal routines

Watching the high-level gymnastics at Chaifetz Arena was offset by nervousness in competing alongside five of the nation's top 12 teams for three spots in the NCAA Super Six.

Both would finish with incredible 9.87 average scores and were quite dominant across the board in every event.

The top three teams from each semifinal will advance to the Super Six competition Saturday at 8 p.m.

WASHINGTON and OREGON STATE also competed in the first semifinal session, finishing in fourth (196.5625) and sixth (196.3625) place respectively to end their seasons in St. Louis.

Not only did Ross have the high score on the uneven bars in the first semifinal (9.95), she was also the best on the balance beam, earning a 9.9625 mark.

There were several standouts throughout the afternoon including Madison Kocian, Kyla Ross and Katelyn Ohashi of UCLA, Maggie Nichols and Stefani Catour of Oklahoma, MyKayla Skinner and MaKenna Merrell of Utah and Maddie Karr of Denver all helped their teams put up great scores. Finnegan won with a 9.95 on bars and Edney took the outright title on vault with an incredible 9.9875. Skinner also finished tied for fifth on vault and tied for eighth on beam. Hortman finished second in the all-around competition (39.250) and junior Jill van Mierlo came in third (38.700) after season-ending injuries the past two years. "Credit needs to go as well to our co-captains Maddy Stover and Baely Rowe, who talked like leaders coming into the meet and then showed it tonight on the floor".

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"I could not be more proud of this team", head coach Elise Ray said. "During season at home meets we started on vault, so just going into this meet we are just trying to stay calm, do our gymnastics like we normally do and enjoy it, because this is our last meet of the season". Just prior, Lewis chipped in a nicely executed 9.85 routine.

After a bye, Washington moved on to floor, where the team had its best performance of the day. That foursome was matched by the Pac-12, which had four schools - UCLA, Utah, Washington and OR - in Semifinal I. Friday's effort was the fifth time the Utes have done that this season.

Not to be outdone, Utah's floor team upped the ante by scoring a 49.4875, including Skinner's 9.9625, which tied for the best score on any event in the afternoon.

On floor, three different gymnasts, including Kocian, built on the momentum and scored higher than a 9.90.

For the seniors, this could be their third national title - they received their first ring in 2014 when the Sooners posted a 198.175.

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