Konnor McClain, Haleigh Bryant help LSU women win first NCAA gymnastics title

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Konnor McClain scored a 9.9625 on the beam — one of five LSU gymnasts with a score of at least 9.95 in the final rotation — to help the Tigers win the first NCAA title in program history on Saturday.

LSU, which finished fourth last year, trailed Utah by 0.037 points and led third-place California by 0.113 after three rotations but senior Sierra Ballard kicked off the fourth and final rotation with a career-high 9.950 — her only routine of the day. Savannah Schoenherr followed with a 9.3875 before McClain posted the best score of the day on the beam. Kiya Johnson, Haleigh Bryant and Aleah Finnegan each scored 9.950 to help the Tigers to a program record on the beam with a with a 49.7625 and seal LSU's national championship with a total score of 198.2250.

Cal, which made its first appearance in the finals, finished second with 197.8500, 0.0500 ahead of third-place Utah. Florida, which was expected to have a rebuilding year without stars Trinity Thomas (graduation) and Kayla DiCello (training for the upcoming Paris Olympics), finished in fourth place. was fourth with 197.4375.

Bryant, who won the individual all-around title on Thursday with a score of 39.7125, and Cal's eMjae Frazier matched that total on Saturday to tie for best individual score in the team finals.

Bryant posting a team-leading 9.9375 on the floor as LSU finished with 49.6125 to take the lead after Rotation 1. The Golden Bears were 0.1375 behind, led by Frazier's 9.9500 on the beam.

Amelie Morgan, Maile O’Keefe and Grace McCallum scored at least a 9.9 on beam for Utah in Rotation 2 to move in front of Cal with 98.9125, 0.100 behind LSU.

All six Utah gymnasts scored a 9.9-plus on the floor, with Abby Paulson, Maile O'Keefe and Jaylene Gilstrap each recording a 9.925 in Rotation 3, helping the Red Rocks move past LSU into first place with 148.500, 0.037 ahead of the Tigers.

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