Highlights from a gymnastics semifinals no one predicted
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FORT WORTH, Texas — After a memorable and surprising day, LSU, Utah, Florida and California advanced to the finals of the NCAA gymnastics championships on Thursday following impressive performances under intense pressure.

Oklahoma, the two-time defending champion and the overwhelming favorite to repeat after spending the season ranked at No. 1, was upset in the day’s second session, finishing in third behind Utah and Florida after a challenging start on vault put the Sooners in an early, and ultimately insurmountable, deficit.

While it was not the result that Oklahoma wanted, it leaves the door open for history to be made. LSU and California have never won the national championship and Utah hasn’t since 1995 — long before any current members of the team were born. Even Florida, the most recent title winner still in the running, hasn’t won since 2015.

Individual champions were also crowned on Thursday. LSU’s Haleigh Bryant earned the all-around title with a 39.7125 total score. Decorated national team stars Jade Carey (Oregon State) and Leanne Wong (Florida) finished tied for second place.

But who else took home individual trophies on Thursday? And who made a name for themselves on college gymnastics’ biggest stage? In case you missed any of the action, we’ve got you covered.


All-around champion

The LSU senior ended the regular season as the nation’s No. 1-ranked all-arounder, and she proved exactly why. Bryant earned a 9.90 or better on all four events, with her highest showing on beam with a 9.95. Her consistency was crucial for the Tigers — just as it’s been all season.

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Haleigh Bryant turns in stellar 9.95 performance on beam

Haleigh Bryant of LSU nails her beam performance at the NCAA gymnastics semifinals with an impressive score of 9.95.


Vault champion

Not only did Anna Roberts earn a career-high score of 9.95 — at the NCAA championships, no less! — on vault with her stuck Yurchenko 1.5 but she also gave Stanford its first individual title since 2018. When she was awarded the trophy at the end of the night, her proud teammates gave her a standing — and very loud — ovation from the stands.


Beam queens

Yes, it wasn’t the night Oklahoma was hoping for, but Faith Torrez and Audrey Davis became co-national champions on beam, which had to ease the pain at least slightly. Both earned a 9.9625 during what ended up being a shaky rotation for the team overall. Their win marked the first time an Oklahoma gymnast earned top honors on the event since 2014.


Stars of the bars

And Davis didn’t just leave with one NCAA title, she also earned co-honors, alongside Wong, on bars. Davis and Wong each earned a 9.9625 for their performances. It marked the first NCAA title for Wong after finishing in second place on floor in 2023.


More on floor

Aleah Finnegan joined Bryant as LSU’s NCAA champions on Thursday. Starting with her perfectly executed double Arabian into a split jump, and with her fun personality on display, the junior brought down the house during the team’s monumental rotation on the event (more on that below), earning the day’s highest score with a 9.9625.

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Aleah Finnegan dazzles the floor with a 9.9625

Aleah Finnegan owns the floor for LSU and puts up an incredible 9.9625 point performance.


The ultimate floor party

Finnegan was just one member of LSU’s floor party on Thursday. The Tigers were already in the lead heading into the final rotation of the afternoon session, but the Tigers put an exclamation point — or several — on an already impressive day with a dominant showing on floor. Counting five scores of 9.9375 or better, the team owned five of the top six scores during the first semifinal and officially punched their ticket to Saturday’s championship.

Finnegan and KJ Johnson (9.95) were the team’s high scorers on the event, and every single gymnast seemed to build off the one that went before.


The most memorable debut

Georgia’s Lily Smith closed out her first season with an all-around performance to remember. With a 9.925 on bars, her signature event, she also recorded 9.9125s on floor and beam, ending the night with a 39.4750 total score.


The crowd favorites

Competing as an individual because UCLA didn’t qualify as a team, Chae Campbell made sure everyone felt the Bruins’ presence with her showstopping performance on floor. Already known for her unparalleled performance quality, Campbell had every eye at Dickies Arena on her as she nailed every tumbling pass and her intricate choreography. She earned a 9.90 and received one of the loudest ovations of the afternoon session.

During the night session, Utah’s Jaylene Gilstrap enamored the crowd with her beautiful, 9.95-earning performance on the event. Set to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” her difficulty and intricate choreography seemed to leave a big impression.





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