In a thrilling finish, defending National Champion Alabama edged Florida and UCLA to successfully defend their crown.
Bama started strong, posting the night's top marks on floor (49.45) and vault (49.625), highlighted by Geralen Stack-Eaton's stuck Yurchenko Layout Full (9.975). Then, on UB, perhaps their weakest event, Sarah DeMeo had a problem and small errors kept the Tide to a 49.275 tally. With UCLA already done and posting a 197.75, Bama needed a 49.425 on beam to win. Bama opened strongly with Kim Jacob hitting a 9.9. Then, DeMeo had a large break on her series. Following that small break, seniors Geralen Stack-Eaton and Ashley Priess delivered nearly flawless routines, with Priess sticking her dismount to seal the win.
Florida opened on vault with a 49.475 and then ran into issues on UB when Ashanee Dickerson fell on her Ray. But a 9.95 from Alaina Johnson and a 9.9 from Mackenzie Caquatto lifted the Gators to a 49.425 on the event. The Gators then moved to beam, where problems have derailed them in the past. But not tonight Led by Johnson's 9.925, the Gators posted a big 49.475 on the event ,setting them up for floor. They entered floor knowing they needed a 49.4 to pass UCLA. On floor, Florida kept their power under control, hitting their sets for a 49.4, slipping past UCLA -- only to be passed one routine later by Bama. All weekend long, scores above 9.9 on floor were far and few between.
UCLA started off with a 49.35 on floor and then moved to a series of stuck vaults, highlighted by Vanessa Zamarripa's 10.0. After a low dismount from Monique De La Torre, UCLA posted a 49.475 on bars, led by Zamarripa's 9.95. Then, the Bruins moved to beam, finishing the meet one round ahead of the rest of the field. After a problem from leadoff Aisha Gerber, the Bruins rebounded with solid sets until senior Ellyse Hopfner-Hibbs fell on her side aerial-back layout series. Recovering strongly, Sam Peszek closed out the meet with a 9.95, pushing UCLA to a 197.75 as Florida and Bama went to their last event.
Stanford hit their best meet of the year to post a 197.5 and finish fourth. They hit a 49.55 on vault, including a 9.975 from Ivana Hong, to pass by Utah. A few lower scores in the 5 & 6 positions kept Stanford a half step back from the leaders. Utah posted a 197.375, hitting their sets but held back by small errors and the resulting lack of 9.9 plus scores (just five, compared to 12 for Bama, 10 for UF and 11 for UCLA). Arkansas ran into problems on floor, posting a 196.3.