It had been nearly a decade, but it looked like the streak was finally going to come to an end.
The Penn State women's gymnastics team, unable to top the 197 mark in nearly a decade, appeared destined to reach it for first time since 2001.
And then the No. 13 Nittany Lions stepped up to the four inches that have defined their season thus far, the balance beam.
"Three great events and one bad event" is how coach Steve Shephard described the Lions' 195.950-194.925 victory over West Virginia. Like so many times before this season, the one bad event he was referring to was beam.
With the Lions on pace for just under 197 with a 98.450 through vault and bars, senior Casey Rohrbaugh led off with a solid 9.775 on beam.
The troubles began soon after, however.
Daryl Konsevick followed Rohrbaugh and fell off the beam twice, resulting in an 8.750. It wasn't a devastating blow to the Lions, though, as only five of the six scores count and Konsevick's would be dropped.
After Konsevick's routine, though, freshman Sharaya Musser fell on the third of three back flips. Then, sophomore All-American Whitney Bencsko stumbled on her dismount and Allie Southard followed with a fall on a flip like Musser. Musser's and Southard's scores of 9.375 and 9.350, respectively, each counted. As a team, the Lions scored a 48.200.
"Once we had one fall, they started getting a little tighter," Shephard said. "Then we had another fall, and they started getting even tighter.
"It was kind of a negative snowball. You lose your momentum and people's blood starts draining from their faces, and that's not a good thing."
Senior Brandi Personett salvaged beam for the Lions with a 9.925, winning the event on her way to a 39.700 in the all-around, a new career high. Based on what she has seen in practice, she knows the rest of her teammates are capable of the same success on beam if they could just get past the nerves.
"If you see us practice, we don't fall very often," Personett said. "But when you get up on four inches, you're going to be nervous, and once one person falls, that pressure just builds for every single person after that."
It seemed like the Lions had turned the corner on beam four weeks ago. The Lions struggled mightily on the event through the first three meets of the season, failing to even break a 48.000. They were able to exorcise those demons over the last three meets, breaking 49.000 in all three.
Those same struggles, though, resurfaced on Saturday, ending any hope of the Lions ending a 110-meet streak of failing to reach 197. If the Lions had improved on their beam score from last week by a mere .075, they would have scored 197.000 against the Mountaineers.
"If we had a normal beam, we definitely would have had a 197," Rohrbaugh said. "It's good to know, but it's still frustrating because we had problems with beam in the past we thought we got over. But now, it's back to the drawing board."