Oklahoma sets the pace once again in Week 2 of NCAA gymnastics

We're officially through Week 2 of the 2024 NCAA gymnastics season and if there's one thing we've learned so far, it's that Oklahoma remains the team to beat.

The Sooners, the reigning two-time NCAA champions, opened the year with a dominant performance during their meet at the "Mean Girls Super 16" -- and they followed up this week with an even more impressive victory at the star-studded Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad in West Valley, Utah. Competing against LSU, UCLA and Utah, Oklahoma earned the highest team score of the season at 197.900 -- three-quarters of a point better than the second-place Tigers.

Oklahoma took the lead after its first rotation on vault, and never lost it. Audrey Davis, who finished second in the all-around, had one of the most memorable performances of the day with her near-perfect bars routine that earned a 9.975:

After the second week, the Sooners have two of the year's top three all-around scores and rank in the top two in the country on vault, bars and beam. While the team did announce it would be without junior Danae Fletcher, a contributor on bars, floor and vault, for the rest of the season due to an injury, it remains the favorite to hoist the trophy -- yet again -- in April.

UCLA finished in third place, but Bruins sophomore Selena Harris won the all-around title with a 39.650 total score. The sophomore was especially strong on vault and beam, scoring a 9.95 on both events.

And that's not at all that happened this weekend. Far from it, actually. There were perfect scores, history-making debuts and the return of a beloved favorite. Here's everything you need to know from the second week of college gymnastics:

Perfect four

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There were four perfect scores over the weekend, making the grand total six on the season. Here's who joined Sage Kellerman and Maile O'Keefe, the Week 1 entrants, on the list:

Konnor McClain: The LSU freshman recorded the perfect score in just her second (!) collegiate meet. And sure, feel free to insert your favorite, "And that's why she was the 2022 U.S. national all-around champion" line here.

McClain became just the seventh gymnast in school history to earn the score on bars, and the first on the road since 2019. With a super-difficult opening release move, textbook lines and handstands and a perfectly stuck dismount, McClain more than lives up to the hype that preceded her arrival in Baton Rouge.

Mya Hooten: Wasting no time in giving Minnesota fans something to cheer about at the Gophers' first home meet of the season, the senior earned the sixth perfect 10.0 score of her career on floor. With a smile as infectious as her dancing, and tumbling passes that she somehow makes look effortless, the crowd and her teammates immediately started the "10" chants as soon as her routine ended -- and it was clearly impossible for the judges to argue.

Sierra Brooks: The Michigan football team became national champions last week, but Brooks still made a case for the title of most valuable athlete on campus over the weekend. And if that's an exaggeration, it's only slightly. The fifth-year senior broke the school's all-around score record with a 39.825 in the team's win over Stanford on Friday -- thanks in part to the 10.0 she received on floor to close out the night. To quote the broadcast team, "Sierra Brooks doing Sierra Brooks things."

eMjae Frazier: In 2023, Frazier became the first Cal gymnast to score a perfect 10.0 on floor. In 2024, the sophomore became the first gymnast in school history to earn a perfect score on two different events as she executed a flawless beam routine during the night session at the Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad. Like Brooks, somehow that achievement was just part of a historic night for Frazier, who broke her own program all-around record with a 39.775. But this beam routine -- the poise! the leaps! -- was truly a standout.

And while it wasn't technically during Week 2, O'Keefe scored yet another perfect 10.0 on beam for the Red Rocks on Monday at the "Best of Utah" meet. It was the 12th perfect score of her career on the event and helped lead the team to victory over BYU, Southern Utah and Utah State.

California Love

It wasn't just Frazier who shined for the Golden Bears on Saturday. Competing against BYU, Michigan State and North Carolina State, Cal scored the second-highest team total of the season at 197.875 for the seventh-best score in program history, and broke their own record on vault (49.525). The team swept the all-around podium as Mya Lauzon and Maddie Williams finished in second and third place, respectively, behind Frazier.

Lauzon even received a 10.0 score of her own from one judge on vault for her Yurchenko 1.5. ESPN's Kathy Johnson Clarke called it "absolutely breathtaking" on the broadcast.

With the exception of Oklahoma, there might be no team with more momentum and ever-increasing confidence than Cal as the season enters its third week.

For the history books

The second week of the season brought the debuts of two brand-new teams: Clemson and Talladega.

In front of a home crowd of over 8,000 fans, the Tigers put the gymnastics world on notice with a 196.325 score -- the highest ever for a debut team -- and a victory over William & Mary. Clemson will next face Pittsburgh at home on Saturday.

The Talladega Tornadoes faced Florida, Fisk and George Washington in their inaugural competition in Gainesville on Friday. It marked the first meet in college history featuring two HBCU programs. Talladega finished in fourth place, but head coach Aja Sims-Fletcher was positive about the experience.

"We had some early nerves but our young team competed well in a tough environment for their first collegiate competition," Sims-Fletcher told the school's website. "We saw some good difficult skills tonight and saw where we can improve. It's only up from here."

Talladega had been slated to compete at the MLK Invitational in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday but the event was canceled due to inclement weather. The meet, which Fisk, Brown, Rutgers, William & Mary and Iowa State were also scheduled to compete at, was set to be a historic milestone for college gymnastics, featuring all Black women head coaches. While the meet's cancellation was disappointing, the six head coaches did participate in a panel discussion on Sunday, sharing what made the idea for the event so special.

Gator glory

While many of the other top teams made their 2024 debut last week, Florida didn't officially get its season started until Friday during the aforementioned quad meet. But the Gators -- ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll --made it a fashionably late entrance to the season in front of a sellout crowd of nearly 9,000 fans. The team's 197.10 was more than 2.5 points higher than second-place George Washington.

Freshman Anya Pilgrim, who represented Barbados at the world championships in October, formally introduced herself to the college gymnastics world in impressive fashion, winning the all-around title as well as a share of three event titles. Her 39.525 all-around score is the highest ever for a Florida freshman in her debut meet.

Senior Ellie Lazzari earned the team's highest individual score of the night with a 9.975 on beam.

And in a week filled with debuts and incredible performances, there was perhaps no one -- for any team -- that got the collective love from fans online more than Morgan Hurd. The 2017 world all-around champion has had a tough road over the past few years due to a string of injuries and surgeries. Now a junior, she missed the entirety of her freshman year and competed sparingly during her sophomore campaign.

But on Saturday, Hurd competed on beam and floor and looked to be both healthy and happy. Known for her artistry, Hurd wowed fans with her beautiful "Black Swan"-themed performance on floor. As Australian gymnast (and friend of Hurd) Heath Thorpe said on social media, "All my life problems have been fixed with this routine."

Best of the rest

Here are just a few more routines that you need to see from the weekend:

Frankie Price, Arkansas: Price's floor routine opens as the music of Eve plays, and while the rapper's words aren't heard, most still know the question she's asking in her lyrics: Who's that girl? And goodness gracious, that girl is Frankie Price. The sophomore absolutely slays her choreography and her tumbling -- and her early 2000s music choices. She earned a 9.95 for this routine on Friday and seems destined for a 10.0 and some viral fame this season.

Syd Morris, LIU: In the season opener against New Hampshire on Sunday, the 2023 EAGL Rookie of the Year looked to build on their strong freshman campaign -- and wow, did Morris, who uses they/them pronouns, do that. Morris scored a 9.9 on beam three times last season -- and earned a staggering 9.975 on Sunday to put themself atop the national rankings on the event.

Victoria Henry, Ball State: The senior earned the second-best score on vault in program history -- and the highest mark since 2016 -- with her 9.975-earning Yurchenko 1.5 on Sunday at Ohio State. Her smile, and the reaction of her teammates, after her stuck landing really says it all.

Rylie Mundell, Denver: Anchoring bars and needing to hit after a teammate had fallen, the senior recorded a 9.95 to lift her team in its home opener against Arizona State.

Key meets in Week 3:

Jan. 19: Florida at Auburn; 6 p.m. ET on SEC Network

Jan. 19: Arkansas at Alabama; 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network

Jan. 19: Kentucky at LSU; 9 P.M. ET on SEC Network

Jan. 20: Missouri at Georgia; 2 p.m. ET on SEC+

Jan. 20: Cal at Washington; 3 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Network

Jan. 21: Michigan at Ohio State; 2 p.m. ET on B1G+

Jan. 21: Denver, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA at Denver; 4 p.m. ET


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