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Florida wins NCAA women's gymnastics title; UCLA finishes fourth

April 20, 2013|By Diane Pucin
  • Bridget Sloan of Florida competes on the balance beam in the semifinals of the NCAA women's gymnastics team competition Friday at Pauley Pavilion. Sloan qualified for Sunday's event finals on the beam, uneven bars and floor exercise.
Bridget Sloan of Florida competes on the balance beam in the semifinals… (Reed Saxon / Associated…)

Florida, led by 2008 Olympian Bridget Sloan, won its first NCAA women's gymnastics team title Saturday at Pauley Pavilion.

The Gators overcame two falls on their opening apparatus, the balance beam, to score 197.575 points, edging runner-up Oklahoma. The Sooners finished second with 197.375 points.

Two-time defending champion Alabama was third with 197.350 points.

Ultimately UCLA couldn't overcome a series of injuries that sidelined 2008 Olympian Samantha Peszek, former national team member Mattie Larson and Canadian national team member Christine Peng-Peng Lee. The Bruins settled for fourth place.

When stellar senior Vanessa Zamarripa landed her final vault on her knees, scoring a 9.1 and leaving her in tears, the Bruins finished with 197.100 points.

The Bruins finished ahead of Louisiana State, which was fifth with 197.050, and Georgia, which had two big errors on floor exercise to fall to sixth with 196.675.

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