Thursday, 25 May, 2017

NCAA gymnastics championship: Super Six spots claimed by Oklahoma, UCLA and Utah

Madison Kocian    
   @uclagymnastics Madison Kocian @uclagymnastics
Devin Neal | 15 April, 2017, 12:18

Team captain Brittni Hawes garnered three Bars Specialist of the Week honors, sharing one of them with teammate Jessie Westergard. She is now eligible to win NCAA titles in all three disciplines, depending on the results from tonight's semifinal.

Also putting up impressive scores of 9.9 or over on different events include Stefani Catour on bars, Katelyn Ohashi, MyKayla Skinner, Madeline Gardiner, MaKenna Merrell, Silvia Colussi-Pelaez, and Stefani Catour on beam, and Madison Kocian, Maggie Nichols, AJ Jackson, Angi Cipra, Hallie Mossett, Baely Rowe, Kaytianna McMillan and MaKenna Merrell on floor.

Sophomores McKenna Kelley and Sarah Finnegan and junior Myia Hambrick all scored 9.95 on the floor in a row.

However, the chance at the title means so much more to senior Nicole Turner who transferred from Oregon State and hasn't had the opportunity to compete with her team until this season. While it wasn't Washington's lowest beam score of the season, small mistakes put the team score of a 49.1875, on the lower end of Washington's beam performances.

"We were a little tight on vault and bars", acknowledged Ute co-head coach Tom Farden.

Also, MyKayla Skinner should definitely not be forgotten after being a top qualifier on vault and floor today and looking to build on that in the championships for Utah tomorrow.

'Boss Baby,' 'Beauty' outshine 'Smurfs 3' at box office
The Boss Baby also added another $37.5 million internationally this weekend to bring its overseas total to $110 million. The movie starring Scarlett Johansson gained a modest $7.4 million in its second weekend at the box office.

Skinner, who is ranked No. 2 in the nation in the all-around, has gone all-around in every meet - winning 11 of 13 all-around and vault competitions and 11 floor titles. Merrell took Stover's lead, popping for a career-best 9.90 and the Utes were off and running. They also competed against other top-25 teams such as Utah, Boise State, Iowa and Utah State. Going into this weekend, the Red Rocks main focus is to step it up again, focusing on their landings to get those extra execution points.

"I could not be more proud of this team", head coach Elise Ray said. Just prior, Lewis chipped in a nicely executed 9.85 routine.

McMurty wasn't even ranked in the all-around heading into Friday because she's battled a back injury over the season and hasn't been in the event enough to rank. The Cougars beat Arizona for the first time in 10 years on March 10 while recording a season-high 49.050 on vault in the process.

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.

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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