Defending co-champs Florida, Oklahoma return to gymnastics final

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Defending co-champions Oklahoma and Florida will get another shot at the NCAA women's gymnastics title.

The Sooners joined the Gators in the Super Six finals by finishing in the top three in the second semifinal session Friday night.

Florida, which has won consecutive team titles, and Utah tied for the top score in the early session at 197.475. Stanford qualified in the third spot.

Oklahoma survived two falls on balance beam, its last event, to advance along with Alabama and Auburn in the late session. Auburn is making its first trip to the finals since 1993.

Utah's Georgia Dabritz helped her team move on with a 10 on uneven bars, the only perfect score of the day.

Florida's Kytra Hunter and former Olympian Samantha Pescek of UCLA shared the all-around title. Both gymnasts posted the winning score of 39.6 in the early session. Auburn's Caitlin Atkinson and Rheagan Courville of LSU fell short in the late session, finishing tied for third at 39.55.

The Sooners had the top score in the late session at 197.4, followed by Alabama at 197.1. Auburn finished at 197.075.

Dabritz's perfect score on bars pushed her past a three-way tie at 9.95 that included 2014 bars champion Bridget Sloan of Florida. She had just the third 10 on bars at the NCAA meet after falling off the balance beam, Utah's first event. That fall kept her out of the all-around lead.

"I had to change my attitude real quick and turn it around for the team because we were heading into our second event," said Dabritz, who was the national runner-up on bars in 2013. "I think that definitely happened and then ended my night on a high and it was just amazing."

Peszek scored a 9.9 on all four events, while Hunter made up for a slightly lower score on vault with the top early score on floor exercise at 9.95.

Stanford's Elizabeth Price and Utah's Kari Lee led vault at 9.95. Peszek and Hunter were among six the top beam score of 9.9.

The Cardinal came in as one of six teams without a championship, while Utah has nine titles but hasn't won the championship since 1995. In the first national meet held in Texas, Stanford and Utah advanced to the finals for the first time since 2012.

"One of our themes this year was to do it big," said Stanford's Ivana Hong, who once trained at the same Dallas-area gym that produced Olympic gold medalists Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin. "And coming to Texas, the state where everything is bigger, it just works out very nicely."