Oklahoma women and Stanford men take home NCAA gymnastics championships
The GIST: Saturday put both the women’s and men’s gymnastics seasons in the book, with trophies hoisted by the sports’ dynasties: the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooner gals and the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal fellas. But before you start counting down the (353) days until 2024’s regionals, let’s flip through how this year’s championships unfolded.
The women: With their sixth title in nine years, you didn’t need a crystal ball to see Oklahoma’s back-to-back ’ship coming. More shocking was the Sooners’ 198.3875 points, which tied the NCAA Championship record set by (who else) Oklahoma in 2017. Freshman Faith Torrez and sophomore Danae Fletcher reminded us it’s not called gymnicestics, clinching the victory with their floor routines.
- Another highlight? No. 2 Florida’s Trinity Thomas, who finished her college career by leading the Gators to second place with a flawless vault that tied the NCAA record for career perfect 10s with 28. Who’s cutting onions?
The men: The Cardinal led the entire meet, vaulting their way to a fourth straight national championship. And freshman Asher Hong and sophomore Taylor Burkhardt flew the highest, finishing first and second in the vault, respectively. Meanwhile, sophomore Nick Kuebler tumbled to his first individual title on the floor exercise.
- As for No. 3 Michigan, the Wolverines flipped to second place thanks in large part to freshman Fred Richards, who activated a “gotta catch ’em all” mode to snag the parallel and horizontal bar hardware plus the coveted all-around crown.
- No. 4 Illinois finished third, but a pair of Illini fought to individual titles — sophomore Ashton Anaya on the rings and grad student Ian Skirkey on the pommel horse. Yee to the haw.