Senior gymnast Nina McGee (Cincinnati, Ohio) performs on the floor at a home meet. Olivia Hyde | Clarion

Senior gymnast Nina McGee (Cincinnati, Ohio) captured DU’s first NCAA gymnastics National Championship title on April 15 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Her score of 9.950 on floor was the highest across all competitors in the event.

After tying for second place on floor in 2015, McGee was able to finish her collegiate career at DU by earning first place in 2016. It was a special and emotional moment for the senior. She was able to perform at such a high level by believing in herself and feeding off the crowd’s energy.

“I kept reminding myself to be smooth on my passes—no more, no less. After I stuck my double layout, I heard the crowd roar. By the time I got to my middle pass, I was like, ‘Kill it!’,” said McGee.

The gymnast also performed well in her other three routines during the night. She posted 9.8875 on bars, 9.899 on beam and 9.850 on vault. With a final all-around score of 39.4875, McGee set a DU record for an all-around finish at an NCAA national championship. Her final score earned her a No. 10 finish in the all-around.

“I think it’ll hit me in a couple days. I don’t know what to do with my grips or my leotards. I don’t know what to do with my time until I start my job. There are a lot of unknowns, but I’m excited because it gives me the opportunity to explore,” said McGee after her final meet.

After sitting out the 2012 season due to an injury, McGee went on to have a record-breaking career as a Pioneer.

She holds several DU records, including an all-around score of 39.775, a floor score of 10.000 (earned three separate times) and most individual titles with 96. In 2016, she was recognized as the 2016 Minneapolis Regional Floor Champion, 2016 AAI Award Finalist, 2016 NCAA First Team All-American (floor, all-around) and of course 2016 NCAA Champion (floor).

After putting in the hard work required to be an NCAA Champion, McGee leaves the Denver gymnastics program as one of the most decorated athletes the program has ever produced.