Super Six Spot Secured
OU's NCAA journey began in Semifinal I on Friday, April 14. The top-seeded Sooners took on No. 4 Utah, No. 5 UCLA, No. 8 Oregon State, No. 9 Denver and No. 13 Washington in the meet.
While the Sooners committed some uncharacteristic mistakes, they snagged a first-place finish in the competition with a score of 197.7250 to advance to their fifth straight and seventh overall Super Six.
Following the session, five Sooners secured a total of 12 All-America honors. Senior Chayse Capps and freshman Maggie Nichols both picked up three accolades. Capps earned first-team status on vault and beam and was second team in the all-around, while Nichols was placed on the first team for vault, bars and floor.
Juniors AJ Jackson (first team, vault and floor) and Stefani Catour (first team on bars, second team on beam) and sophomore Nicole Lehrmann (first team on bars and beam) each earned a pair of honors.
On their sport's biggest stage, the Sooners came out with purpose from the beginning, opening the competition with dominating performances on bars with an NCAA Championships record 49.5875 and a massive 49.7000 on beam. From there, they never looked back, recording a 49.6125 on floor and a 49.4875 on vault.
Capps embraced the moment as OU's leadoff performance on bars, setting the tone with a 9.8875 and sparking a series of stuck landings for the Sooners throughout the entire meet. In all, OU stuck 31 of 36 landings in the competition.
The Sooners were impressive in the win, defeating second-place LSU 198.3875-197.7375. Their 0.65 margin of victory was the highest since Georgia defeated Utah by 0.95 (197.750-196.800) in the 2006 championships.
A highlight of OU's beam explosion was a perfect 10.0 earned by Nichols, her third perfect mark on the apparatus this season and seventh overall. It is just the fourth 10.0 ever scored on beam at the NCAA Championships and the first earned in the Super Six. Later in the meet, UCLA’s Christine Peng-Peng Lee also scored a 10.0 on beam. The scores were the first 10.0s scored on the event at the championships since Georgia’s Courtney Kupets earned one in 2009.
With the national title well within sight, the Sooners moved to vault, securing the victory with a strong top-to-bottom performance that was punctuated with a 9.95 from Jackson and a 9.9625 from Nichols.
Then, the celebration began in St. Louis.