Women’s gymnastics punches ticket to National Championships with a perfect 10

“TEN, TEN, TEN!” 

The Stanford women’s gymnastics team chanted toward the judges, 10 fingers above their heads in Haas Pavilion, as fifth-year senior Chloe Widner flipped through the air, finishing the final floor routine of the evening. 

With only a 0.125 of a point separating No. 19 Stanford from No. 6 Denver, the Cardinal fought for every last tenth to earn one of two spots in the 2024 NCAA Championships. As the score appeared on the screen, the team began screaming and hugging each other — a perfect 10 from Widner to finish out a historic meet for the Cardinal. 

For the first time since 2016 Stanford will join No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 8 Alabama, No. 2 LSU, No. 12 Arkansas, No. 4 Florida, No. 5 Utah and No. 3 California to battle for a chance at the national title.

Stanford earned a spot in the NCAA Regional Finals with their best team score in program history, topping No. 14 Auburn and Southern Utah on Friday evening in Haas. On Friday, Widner led all competitors in both the afternoon and evening sessions with an all-around total of 39.700, earning the regional all-around title. She is the first all-around regional champion for the Cardinal since Elizabeth Price won the all-around title at the 2016 Ann Arbor Regional. 

Widner earned shares of the bars, beam and floor titles, scoring a 9.950 on each event, leaving as a co-regional champion on all three events. Sophomore Anna Roberts also captured a share of the regional floor title with a 9.950 performance and junior Anapaula Gutierrez earned a part of the regional vault title with a 9.900. 

On Sunday, after falling in last place early on, Stanford fought back and found itself tied with Denver for a second-place spot after the second rotation. After falling behind in the third rotation, Widner’s performance helped push Stanford over the top and into the national championship semifinals.

The Cardinal becomes the first unseeded team to make nationals in its new format. No. 3 and host California won the regional final competition with a final score of 198.275. The Cardinal followed with a 197.575, No. 6 Denver scored a 197.450 and No. 22 Arizona State finished with a 196.750.

Widner earned second place in the all-around competition with a new career best 39.725, beating her previous career-best score of 39.700 from Friday’s regional competition. She also tied for first on the uneven bars and balance beam with scores of 9.950, and clinched the floor title with a perfect 10. 

The semifinals begin Thursday, April 18, followed by the national championship on Saturday, April 20 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.