After completing a 9.900 routine on the uneven bars, No. 6 Oklahoma’s Kiara Redmond-Sturms high-fived each of her teammates.
But the senior struck each Sooner’s hands with such authority that one thing was clear: this wasn’t just another meet.
Despite junior Adrianne Perry and sophomore Sarah Shire’s first and second place finishes in the all-around, then-No. 13 Missouri fell to rival Oklahoma 196.075-195.750 Friday night at the Hearnes Center.
The Tigers, now ranked No. 14, missed their season-high score by .050.
“It was really frustrating for me and for everyone else,” Shire said. “We have the potential to beat a team like Oklahoma. We just haven’t quite gotten all the pieces together.”
Perry and Shire had their acts together, posting a 39.375 and 39.325, respectively, to defeat Redmond-Sturms, ranked third nationally in the all-around.
The Oklahoma senior was on her way to the all-around title heading into the final event, but Redmond-Sturms recorded a 9.650 on the balance beam and finished with a 39.300.
The Tigers (5-2) opened the meet on the vault, where they scored a 48.800, their lowest total of any event.
Sophomore Danielle Guider and freshman Alex Gold had season-lows on the vault, though Shire tied her season-high with a 9.900.
Missouri posted a 48.875 on the uneven bars, with junior Alicia Hatcher tying her season-high of 9.875.
Led by Shire’s 9.900, MU scored a season-high 49.150 on the balance beam, the only event in which it defeated the Sooners.
The Tigers trailed Oklahoma (14-0) by just .200 heading into the floor exercise. Guider, first to compete on the floor, fell at the end of her routine and scored a 9.000.
But the Tigers recovered, scoring a 48.925 in their final event.
The Sooners’ 49.050 on the balance beam, though, was enough to preserve the win.
“I’d say that we were all pretty nervous because we knew we were so close,” Perry said.
What Perry didn’t know was that she won the all-around.
“I was actually surprised myself that I took the all-around,” Perry said. “I wasn’t really keeping track of my scores or anyone else’s for that matter.”
Perry didn’t win any of the four events, but her consistency — she scored at least a 9.825 in each event — allowed the Columbia native to post her second-highest score of the season.
“We have two of the best all-around gymnasts in the nation, right in our own backyard,” coach Rob Drass said. “When the No. 3 ranked girl comes in here, and we have two of our girls beat her, it just shows how good our girls really are.”
Senior Ashley Khederian scored a 38.950 in the all-around.
Though Guider struggled on the vault and floor, she posted a season-high 9.775 on the balance beam.
While MU didn’t beat Oklahoma, its ability to hang with the Sooners speaks volumes, Shire said.
“I think this was kind of an eye-opener, showing us this is where the No. 6 team in the nation is — this is what they’re doing,” said Shire, also a Columbia native. “And yet we were still only three-tenths behind them, so we’re really not that far off.”