© John Cheng

ST. LOUIS, April 14, 2017 – Led by 2015 World team gold medalist Maggie Nichols and senior Chayse Capps, the University of Oklahoma Sooners posted the top team total in the first of two national semifinals today at the National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships held at Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena. The University of California at Los Angeles was second, followed by the University of Utah.

OU earned a team total of 197.7250, followed by UCLA with 197.5000 and Utah at 197.0500. The University of Washington finished fourth with a 196.5625. The University of Denver (196.4750) and Oregon State University (196.3625) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

The Sooners sat out the first rotation on a bye but came out of the gates strong on the floor exercise where they totaled a 49.3500. Nichols posted a 9.9250, performing a piked full-in to open. On the vault, Oklahoma again tailed 49.3500 with Nichols, Capps and A.J. Jackson earning matching 9.9000 scores. The Sooners came alive in the fifth rotation on the uneven bars where Nichols and Nicole Lehrmann stuck their dismounts to score 9.9500, helping OU to a 49.5250 on the event. In the final rotation, Capps’ 9.9500 helped OU to a 49.5000 on the balance beam.

UCLA posted scores of 49.2375, vault; 49.3625, uneven bars; 49.3625, balance beam; and 49.5375, floor exercise. 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kyla Ross was the top all-around gymnast for the Bruins with scores of 9.9500 on the uneven bars and a near perfect 9.9625 on the balance beam, giving her a 39.5750 for second in the first semifinal. 2016 Olympic gold medalist Madison Kocian was close behind in third with 39.5500.

Grabbing the third and final spot to Saturday’s Super Six final, the Utes posted team totals of 49.0875, vault; 49.0875, uneven bars; 49.3875, balance beam; and 49.4875, floor exercise. 2016 Olympic team alternate MyKayla Skinner is currently leading the all-around standings after earning a 39.6125 total, highlighted by a 9.9125 on the beam and a 9.9625 on floor.

© John Cheng