FORTH WORTH, TEXAS — Florida made reigning Olympic women’s all-around champion Sunisa Lee and Auburn take a back seat in the NCAA semifinals.
Gators senior Trinity Thomas captured the all-around title — sealing it with a scintillating floor exercise that earned the only perfect 10 of the night — as Florida posted the top score of 197.9750 points in the second semifinal of the day to advance to the final. Lee and Auburn were close behind at 197.8375. The top two teams in each of the day’s two semifinals advanced to Saturday’s final.
Missouri was third in the second semifinal. Reigning national champion Michigan’s bid for a repeat ended after a difficult set on uneven bars.
In the first semifinal, Oklahoma reached the final for the ninth straight time and Utah made it for the fourth time in the past five championships by topping Alabama and Minnesota.
Lee became the first Olympic all-around champion to compete collegiately when she opted to honor her commitment to Auburn following her triumph in Japan last year. Lee also got silver in the Olympic team competition and bronze on the uneven bars.
Lee started the NCAA semifinal with 9.9625 on beam, earning her the event title.
Thomas, a former elite competitor, was every bit Lee’s equal. She was near flawless through three events, then sealed her all-around title with her 11th perfect 10.0 of the season, by far the most in the country. She won the floor and also the uneven bars titles.
Utah’s Jaedyn Rucker won the vault title.
The Sooners made a statement in the first semifinal, posting 198.112, the best score of the day. The performance came a day after receiving a pep talk from former Oklahoma star and current Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The Sooners chatted with Mayfield — who won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma in 2017 — on Wednesday night, with Mayfield urging them to “feel dangerous” as the program tries to win its fourth title since 2016.
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