Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
LSU's Rheagan Courville competes on the balance beam during the NCAA college women's gymnastics championships on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
College gymnastics: Florida, Oklahoma tie for title
College gymnastics » Gators and Sooners leapfrog Alabama for victory.
First Published Apr 19 2014 09:18 pm • Last Updated Apr 22 2014 04:58 pm

Birmingham, Ala. • Georgia had the throwback leotards and Alabama had the home crowd, but in the end it was a mix of old and new that won the NCAA Gymnastics Championships here at the Birmingham Convention Complex.

Florida, which won its first national title last year, finished in a tie with Oklahoma for the championship on Saturday.

At a glance

Super Six Final Standings

1 » Oklahoma and Florida 198.175

3 » LSU 197.6

4 » Alabama 197.55

5 » Georgia 197.05

6 » Nebraska 196.5

Super Six glance

In short » Alabama had two falls on its final event and Oklahoma and Florida scored high on their events to overtake the Tide.

Key stat » Florida’s floor lineup earned a 49.625, including a 9.95 from its final two competitors, to earn a share of the title.

Key moment » Alabama slipped from first to fourth when Kim Jacob fell off the balance beam and scored just 9.35.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The meet came down to the final rotation, where Alabama led 148.7, Oklahoma was second with 148.625 and Florida was third with 148.55.

Georgia, which started with a shaky rotation on the balance beam, was a distant fourth at 147.525 while LSU and Nebraska were finished with 197.6 and 196.5, respectively.

Alabama had the disadvantage of ending on the balance beam while Oklahoma was on the vault and Florida was on the floor.

The Tide got in a bind early when leadoff gymnast Diandra Milliner fell. The rest of the line came through with solid routines until Kim Jacob fell on her mount. Jacob won the all-around title Friday night, but evidently couldn’t beat the pressure on the balance beam on Saturday and scored just 9.35. The Tide finished with a disappointing 48.85.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma finished with a 49.55 on the vault and Florida scored 49.625 on the floor.

Both teams milled around the floor unsure what the result was until the official announcement was made there was a tie for first.

Ties in qualifying rounds are broken by counting all six scores on each event, but no such tiebreaker is used for the finals, a technicality that didn’t seem to bother the winners.

"It’s such an incredibly challenging competition, every athlete puts her heart out there," Florida coach Rhonda Faehn said. "I understand you have to break it for qualifications but we can share the title."

story continues below
story continues below

Oklahoma is just the fifth team to win an NCAA gymnastics title, joining Florida, Alabama, Utah and Georgia.

The Sooners finished on vault early enough to watch Florida finish its floor routines.

"It was pure torture," Oklahoma coach K.J. Kindler said. "All we could do was sit and watch. I wanted to run to the locker room and take the team with me. It was hard to sit there and watch every score come up and try to do the math in our heads. It was pure torture, but worth the wait."

Kindler, who is in her eighth season with the Sooners, said she was cautioned when she took the job that she could never win a title at Oklahoma.

Last year’s second-place finish behind the Gators gave her and the team the last bit of belief in themselves that prepped them for their effort this season.

"I have seen this team progress over the year and it has been amazing," Oklahoma gymnast Taylor Spears said. "It was a different feeling than last year."

For Florida, being able to win after losing several key gymnasts from the 2013 title team added to the satisfaction, Faehn said.

"We didn’t have much depth, so all year we were managing the health of the team," she said. "That was the hardest part of the season, maintaining their health, and that we made it this far and we won again is still crazy to me."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.