April 16, 2011
CLEVELAND -- The third-seeded Oklahoma women's gymnastics squad finished in third place at the 2011 NCAA Championships Saturday with a score of 197.250 during the Super Six Team Finals.
OU finished behind No. 1 Alabama (197.650) and No. 2 UCLA (197.375). The title was Alabama's fifth national championship in program history and its first in nine years.
OU tied its Super Six score from 2010 with the 197.250, which is its second-highest postseason score in program history.
The Sooners ended team finals on beam. OU was ranked No. 1 on the apparatus entering the postseason and was the only team out of the 12 NCAA Championship participants to score above a 49.000 during semifinals on Friday.
OU came through on the event once again, posting a 49.425 as a team with three 9.9s, a 9.875 and a 9.85.
Megan Ferguson, a first team All-American on beam, posted her fourth straight score of 9.9 or higher on the event. Senior Natalie Ratcliff and freshman Taylor Spears both tied their career-highs of 9.9 on beam. Ratcliff's was previously set at the 2011 Big 12 Championship while Spears' was set at Iowa State on Feb. 11.
The Sooners opened the meet with a 49.175 on floor to put them in third place out of the four teams competing in the first rotation.
Freshman Taylor Spears missed a landing on her first pass to start off with a 9.625 for the Sooners. The end of OU's lineup responded with four straight scores of 9.8 or higher to end the rotation from Brie Olson (9.8), Sara Stone (9.85), Megan Ferguson (9.875) and Kayla Nowak (9.875).
Top-seed Alabama led after the first rotation with a 49.575 on vault, followed by No. 9 Nebraska with a 49.300 on bars.
OU posted a 49.350 on vault in the second rotation to jump ahead of Nebraska, paced by Hope Bruce's 9.9 and Stone's 9.925 in the anchor position.
Stone's score was her ninth of 9.9 or higher on vault this season. Bruce tied her career-high 9.9 on vault, previously set on April 2 at the Norman regional.
The Sooners stood in third place at the halfway mark of the competition, just .325 of a point behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 UCLA who were tied at 98.850.
OU went to bars after its first bye of the night and scored a 49.300 on the apparatus with a 9.925 and a 9.95 from the final two routines.
Ferguson, who was named first team All-American on the event on Friday, posted a 9.925 while Kelley, a second team All-American on the event, tied her career-high 9.95.
The Sooners posted four straight scores of at least 9.8 before Ferguson and Kelley's performances. Spears, Hayden Ward and Nowak all scored a 9.8 while Olson posted a 9.825.
OU's five first team All-Americans will compete in Sunday's Individual Event Finals beginning at noon (CT). Ferguson will compete on both bars and beam, Kelley will compete on beam, Mooring will compete on vault while Nowak will be on bars.