NORMAN — All season the Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team had found a way to overcome any adversity put before them. No team in the country was hit by the injury bug as hard as OU, but the Sooners found a way to keep their level of play high.
However, it all finally caught up to the Sooners. In the first semifinal of the 2012 NCAA Championship, they came in fourth and missed out on advancing to their third-straight NCAA Super Six appearance by just .200 points.
“Honestly, we did all we could this afternoon,” OU head coach K.J. Kindler said. “The adversity we experienced this season has been some of the greatest challenges we have ever faced as a staff and a team. We stuck 24 routines, with some athletes competing for the first time in their careers as seniors.”
The Sooners finished behind No. 2 UCLA (197.400), No. 7 Utah (197.200) and No. 10 Stanford (197.125) Friday at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.
The Sooners started the day on beam with a 49.325 to hold first place after the first rotation. The 49.325 was OU’s eighth score of 49.300 or higher this season.
OU recorded four scores of 9.85 or better including a career-high-tying 9.9 from Sara Stone and a 9.95 from Megan Ferguson who finished first on the event.
Erica Brewer and Taylor Spears both added scores of 9.85 for the Sooners while Madison Mooring and Brie Olson both posted 9.775s.
At the halfway point, OU stood in third place behind Utah and UCLA.
OU scored a 49.250 on floor in the third rotation following a bye in the second rotation.
Oklahoma added a 49.225 on bars in the final rotation, but Stanford posted a 49.375 on beam.
“We did all we could,” Kindler said. “Sometimes you grow so much more through these kinds of times. No matter who went down, someone else stepped forward. No one said ‘I am not willing, I am not ready or I am afraid.’ We wanted it, there was never a doubt and we couldn’t be more proud of the effort and heart that went into their performance. We simply fell short.”
Even though they didn’t reach the team goal they had set for themselves, the Sooners did have high points. Three gymnasts earned first team All-America honors and a spot in Sunday’s Individual Event Finals.
Ferguson claimed first team honors on both the beam and floor. The seven-time All-American was first on beam with a 9.95 and tied for first on floor with a 9.9.
Stone was first on the beam with a 9.9 and junior Olson is an all-American on the bars.