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Oklahoma women share NCAA gymnastics title with Florida

Sooners finish strong, end up in dead heat with Gators to claim first national crown.
By Tommy Deas, For The Oklahoman Published: April 19, 2014
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The Sooners set the tone on their first rotation with a solid score of 49.5 on the uneven parallel bars, and maintained high scores throughout the meet. Erica Brewer started out with a 9.9 on bars, and Keeley Kmeiciak and Taylor Spears closed it out with scores of 9.95 and 9.925, respectively.

Oklahoma thrived on the balance beam, often a make-or-break event in championship competition, with a team tally of 49.525. Spears and Rebecca Clark brought the high scores with twin 9.925 routines, and OU counted no score lower than 9.875 in a competition where every 9.9 or better goes a long way toward keeping a team in contention.

At the meet’s midpoint, Oklahoma was in third in a tight race at 99.025, behind Alabama's 99.15 and Florida's 99.05.

The Sooners moved into second place after their third rotation, rocking the floor exercise. Lara Albright and Scaman both scored 9.95 to lead a 49.6 team turn, with no gymnast scoring lower than 9.9.

To win it all, OU needed a strong finish on the vault and for Alabama to falter enough on the balance beam to create an opening. It got both, along with a late surge by Florida to add to the drama.