The Michigan women's gymnastics team won the national championship for the first time in program history on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Entering the fourth and final rotation, U-M had a slight lead, but both Utah and Oklahoma were in striking distance. The Sooners seemed poised to take the lead with a strong performance in the floor exercise, but Michigan's anchor on the balance beam, junior Abby Heiskell, scored a 9.925 to push the Wolverines over the top. Her score gave U-M a total of 198.2500, the best score in team history, to win the championship.
Oklahoma finished second in the four-team final with a 198.1625, followed by Utah (197.9875) and Florida (197.1375).
Michigan is just the seventh different program to win a national title in women's gymnastics, joining Utah, Georgia, Alabama, UCLA, Florida and Oklahoma.
The Wolverines, ranked fourth in the nation entering the NCAA tournament, jumped out to a lead on after the first rotation by scoring 49.6500 on the floor, the best of any team on that exercise on Saturday. Utah won the second rotation by scoring 49.7000 on the balance beam, but Michigan maintained the overall lead with a 49.6500 on the vault, also the best team score in the exercise on the day.
After three rotations, Michigan's 49.4875 on the uneven bars was enough to have the overall lead.
Sophomore Sierra Brooks had the best all-around score on Saturday with a 39.7750.
It's the crowning achievement for coach Bev Plocki, who has won 24 Big Ten title in 32 seasons at Michigan, the most by any coach in any sport, in conference history.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan women's gymnastics wins its first national championship