FORT WORTH, Texas -- It was a night for the record books for the No. 2 Oklahoma women's gymnastics team.
The Sooners used a 198.175, the highest score in the nation this year and the second-highest score in program history, to top No. 3 LSU (197.875), Arizona (195.625) and Kentucky (194.850) in the Metroplex Challenge. Oklahoma posted 11 scores of 9.9 or higher, including a perfect 10.0 on floor exercise for sophomore Haley Scaman.
"I'm not really focused on the score tonight, but the performance that we gave," head coach K.J. Kindler said. "We got mentally stronger tonight. Coming in after a couple of weeks of very tough competition, this was a defining moment. It was very important for them to walk in here and fight for it, and I saw that. I saw heart, and that's what it's all about."
"I hope that tonight's performance fuels them to work harder and become better and stronger, physically and mentally. They can be even better than they were tonight."
Scaman's 10.0 on floor was the first perfect score for the Sooners since 2010. Her effort also marked only the second perfect 10 on floor in program history, joining Patricia Aoki's 10.0 in 2003.
"Every time Haley goes out, I know it could be the night," Kindler said. "She's such a humble woman. It meant the world to her, but I think it meant even more to her team to see her earn that."
The records didn't stop falling there for the Sooners. The squad's 49.575 on uneven bars tied the best score in program history on the event, while Oklahoma posted or tied its season-high individual performance on every event.
Two Oklahoma freshmen narrowly missed perfection in their routines, with McKenzie Wofford and Chayse Capps each earning respective titles on bars and beam with 9.975 routines. It was a night of outstanding gymnastics across the board. Every event winner earned a 9.975 or higher in her respective performance.
"Chayse was near flawless," Kindler said. "I was so impressed with her. Every time McKenzie goes, she's one of the best bar swingers in the nation. I hope it fuels her more and more in the gym."
A stellar start on vault opened the night for OU. The squad posted a 49.475 in the first rotation, continuing its streak of 49.400+ scores in every meet this season. Scaman's 9.95 lead the way, while sophomore Keeley Kmieciak posted a 9.925 and senior Madison Mooring earned a 9.9. Kmieciak and Scaman have not scored below a 9.9 on the event this season.
LSU posted a 49.600 on bars in the first rotation, while Kentucky picked up a 49.050 on floor and Arizona earned a 48.925 on beam.
Momentum was the name of the game for the Sooners on bars. Every score in the lineup went equal to or higher than the previous, culminating in Wofford's career-high 9.975. Taylor Spears earned a new season-high with a 9.95 in the No. 5 spot, and Scaman earned a 9.9 in the No. 3 slot. Freshman and Oklahoma native Charity Jones made her first appearance in the competitive lineup this season and went big with a 9.9 in the No. 4 position.
The Sooners snapped the lead back with a 99.025 after two rotations. LSU followed close in second (98.900), with Kentucky coming in at third (97.700) and Arizona picked up fourth (97.675).
Oklahoma was fearless on beam in their third rotation, posting the squad's second-highest score of the year at 49.500. The score marks the second time this season the Sooners have earned a 49.500 or higher on the event. Capps' near-flawless 9.975 led the way for Oklahoma, while Mooring tied her season-high of 9.925 in the No. 2 position. Erica Brewer posted a season-high 9.9 as well. One of the Sooners' most impressive performances came from junior Rebecca Clark. Clark overcame a raucous crowd to post a 9.875 in the anchor spot, pushing OU to a 49.500 overall.
"Becca performed the toughest routine of the night, no doubt," Kindler said. "She had to hurdle last week's fall, the crowd, the miss in front of her. She nailed it. I was very impressed with that routine--more than any routine of the meet."
OU maintained its lead heading into the last rotation, but knew it would need a strong performance on floor to seal its victory. The Sooners led with a 148.500, followed by LSU (148.350), Kentucky (146.750) and Arizona (146.525).
Suffice it to say, the Sooners delivered. Oklahoma posted a season-best 49.625 behind Scaman's 10.0 and gorgeous 9.925 efforts from senior Lara Albright and sophomore Maile'ana Kanewa. Both Albright and Kanewa's efforts were career-bests. Freshman Kara Lovan was also inserted into the lineup at the last minute and delivered with a career-best 9.9, helping to fuel Oklahoma to its outstanding effort.
LSU earned a 49.550 on vault in its final rotation, finishing with a program-record 197.875 that would not be enough to top Oklahoma's outstanding effort. Arizona earned a 195.625 to come in third, and Kentucky rounded the night out with a 194.850.
Oklahoma will compete on podium for the second weekend in a row next Friday night, facing No. 5 Alabama, No. 8 Michigan and West Virginia at the Perfect 10 Challenge in Oklahoma City. The meet will take place in the Cox Convention Center arena and is slated for a 6:45 p.m. start.