CORVALLIS, Ore. – Junior All-American Katherine Grable wins three event titles as the third-seeded Razorbacks scored a program best at an NCAA Regional of 196.950 to clinch a trip to the NCAA Championship meet for the sixth-straight year.
Grable started the meet by matching her career-best marks on the floor and the vault with 9.95’s, each of the marks were worthy of first-place finishes on the events. Grable finished with a season-best 39.650 to win the all-around competition as well.
Arkansas finished second in the meet behind Georgia with a 197.425, and ahead of Arizona State with a 195.700, Oregon State with a 195.375, Boise State with a 195.350 and California with a 195.125.
“I am just so shocked right now,” co-head coach Rene Lyst said. “We thought coming into the meet that Oregon State would win as the host and we would be in a two-way battle with Georgia.”
The Razorbacks would start on the floor in the second rotation with the second-highest score in regional history with a 49.250. Grable anchored the lineup while matching her career-high score of a 9.95, followed by Amy Borsellino with a 9.875. Senior Kelci Lewis went on to post a 9.85 while freshman Heather Elswick added a 9.825.
Arkansas would match its floor score in the rotation three with a 49.25 on the vault, a mark that ranks third in program history at a regional. Again, Grable would lead the way with her second 9.95 of the meet which also matches her career high for the event. Elswick and Lewis each tallied a 9.85 for the event, followed by Baille Zumwalde with a 9.80 and Erin Freier would count her first vault of the season with a 9.80 as well.
At the halfway point, Georgia would lead the meet with a 98.525, followed by Arkansas with a 98.500, Boise State 97.825, Arizona State 97.325, Cal with a 96.975 and Oregon State with a 96.800.
On the bars, the Razorbacks posted a 49.150 which is good for the fifth-best score in regional history. Junior Shelby Salmon led the way with a 9.875, followed by Katherine Grable with a 9.85. Freier and Borsellino would each add 9.825’s to the team score as well.
Arkansas would just need five clean routines to punch their tickets to the NCAA Championship Meet, and the Razorbacks posted a 49.300 good for the best beam score in regional history. Grable and Freier would anchor the rotation with a pair of 9.90’s. Freshman Sydnie Dillard and Borsellino each recorded a 9.85 followed by Salmon and Glover with a 9.80 each.
“It was just awesome to finish the way we did on the beam,” Lyst said. “This was a really fun meet for us the throughout the whole time. Everyone competed extremely well for us and I still can’t describe the feeling right now about making it to the National Championship meet.”
The Razorbacks will return to competition in two weeks’ time at the NCAA Championship Meet in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 20.
Gators Enter NCAAs as No. 1 Seed
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 1 University of Florida gymnastics team used the nation’s second-highest score of 2013 – 198.40 – to win Saturday’s NCAA Regional competition held in front of a Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowd of 7,137. The win advances Florida to the NCAA Championships, which is set for April 19-21 in the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.<http://www.uclabruins.com/sports/w-gym/spec-rel/13-NCAA-tickets.html>
This will be 31st national championships appearance for the Gators, missing only the 2000 meet in the 32-year history of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships. Florida took second to Alabama in the 2012 event held in Duluth, Ga.
The Gators’ 198.40 is second to the team’s 198.425 set March 1 and ranks as the nation’s 10th highest ever posted. The win Saturday to bring the program’s total number of regional wins to 13. Minnesota was second at 197.10 to claim the other NCAA Championships’ berth, which will be the Gophers’ first national championship appearance since 2002. Auburn was third at 196.70, followed by Maryland (195.575), Pittsburgh (194.775) and Bridgeport (194.225).
The team assignments for the two April 19 NCAA semifinal sessions will be determined later tonight.
There was plenty that could have distracted the Gators for this competition. Senior Randy Stageberg, who has been a part of every Gator balance beam and floor exercise lineup this season, dislocated her right shoulder in March 30 training. That forced Florida’s Rhonda Faehn to shift the lineups, adding senior Marissa King on beam and freshman Bridgette Caquatto on floor exercise. Those were changes the Gators had a bit of time to make adjustment for. But last night’s emergency root canal on junior Mackenzie Caquatto could have caused further changes.
“Tonight was absolutely incredible; I was so proud of how the entire team stepped up and performed. And I’m not talking about performance factor right now, because we had a very challenging week; starting out with losing Randy Stageberg to a dislocated shoulder, and then Macko (Mackenzie Caquatto) having an emergency root canal last night and not knowing if she was going to be able to go, was making things a little bit sketchy heading into tonight,” said Faehn.
“But I was not concerned because I knew anyone that was going to step up would do an amazing job. This team, they trust each other and they all came out and were lights out on all events. It wasn’t just the gymnastics but also the heart and the passion and fighting through all the circumstances and not letting any of it affect them and their performances,” she continued. “They knew what they were capable of doing and they went out and took care of business.”
No concerns were shown in the Gators’ performance Saturday. Mackenzie Caquatto hit each of her three events, posting 9.925 on bars, a 9.9 on beam and a 9.875 on vault. King equaled her collegiate beam best of 9.95 to anchor the lineup and take the event title. Bridgette Caquatto also posted a collegiate-best 9.925 on floor exercise. In addition, junior Alaina Johnson, sidelined since the Jan. 18 meet with a stress reaction and stress fracture of lower back, returned to earn a 9.925 on vault and a 9.875 on bars.
Sophomore Kytra Hunter, defending NCAA all-around champion, claimed that event title at 39.775 – just off her national-leading 39.80 set March 1. The other two Gators in the all-around Saturday finished right behind Hunter, with freshman Bridget Sloan taking second at 39.675 and King matching her collegiate-best of 39.65 for third.
A Gator claimed at least a share of each apparatus title. Senior Ashanée Dickerson and Hunter shared the vault win at 9.95 with Auburn’s Bri Guy and Minnesota’s Lindsay Mable and Jenny Covers. Sloan matched her collegiate best of 9.975 to take her sixth bars title of the season. King and Hunter shared the floor win with matching marks of 9.95.
The National Qualifying Score (NQS) determines the pairings for day one of the team competition at the NCAA Championships. The NQS is calculated by adding a team's regional qualifying score (RQS) and score from the regional meet. Teams are ranked 1 to 12 based on the NQS. Teams 1, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 12 will be placed in one semifinal and teams 2, 3, 6, 7, 10 and 11 placed in the other.
The top three from each of the semifinal sessions advance to the NCAA Super Six on April 20 where the national team champion will be determined.
UK Records School Record NCAA Regional Score
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Kentucky gymnastics team posted the program’s highest-ever NCAA Regional team score with a 195.575 on Saturday inside WVU Coliseum.
Kentucky finished in fourth-place overall just .45 outside second position.
Michigan won the meet with a 196.725 and Illinois claimed the second nationals berth with a 196.025. Nebraska finished third with a 195.875. West Virginia (194.475) and North Carolina (194.350) finished fifth and sixth respectively.
The top two team finishers qualified for the NCAA National Championship, which will be held in Los Angeles. Calif., April 19-21.
Audrey Harrison finished in a tie for third for the individual all-around title with a score of 39.2, but tied for the highest AA score among competitors not on a team advancing to regionals.
Harrison missed out on a berth to nationals by virtue of NCAA tiebreaking procedure, despite tying Nebraska’s Jessie Deziel. The Cornhusker all-around competitor had a better highest single event school as she notched 9.95 on vault, while Harrison’s top -event score was a 9.825 on balance beam.
The top two all-around competitors (who were not on an advancing team) from each regional received an automatic berth to the national championships.
Alexis Gross earned a career-high all-around score 39.05, in her first meet competing all four events during a single meet this season.
The Wildcats finished with the third-highest event team scores on each apparatus, except for vault, in which UK placed fourth.
Tiara Phipps started the meet for Kentucky with a great 9.8 floor exercise routine, which tied her career-high. Audrey Harrison also executed a solid routine to garner a 9.8, while Gross scored a 9.775. Kayla Hartley and Shannon Mitchell both scored a 9.75, and it all amounted to a 48.85 floor score
Holly Cunningham led UK on vault as she stuck her landing for a 9.85. Harrison’s 9.8 vault put the all-rounder on her way to the quality AA score. Sara Shipley began the rotation with a 9.775, while Shelby Hilton and Jill Chappel both scored 9.75 to round out UK’s 48.925 vault score.
UK drew a bye before moving to uneven bars, and after three rotations with all six squads having completed two rotations Michigan led the team standings having totaled 98.575.
Illinois scored 97.925 after three, and UK was third with 97.8. Nebraska sat in fourth with 97.4. UNC(97.075) and WVU (96.925) were in fifth and sixth respectively.
Alexis Gross stuck her dismount to score a 9.825, which paced Kentucky to a 48.8 bars score. Harrison kept her impressive evening going with a 9.775 and Hilton rounded out a bounce-back meet with a 9.75. Sara Shipley and Kayla Sienkowski each earned a 9.725.
Kentucky brought a 146.575 into balance beam during the fifth rotation.
With the pressure on, Sienkowski’s 9.825 started the team’s final act nicely. Mitchell followed Sienkowski with a 9.75. Harrison and Gross nailed their routines with scores 9.825 and 9.8 respectively. Cunningham anchored with a 9.775.
With Kentucky on a bye for the sixth rotation, Michigan needed a 47.95 on floor to surpass UK. Illinois would need a 48.725 on beam and Nebraska would require a 49.35 vault score.
Michigan totaled 49.3, Illinois recorded a 49.175 and Nebraska went 49.65.
Kentucky concludes 2013 having enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history.
UK has set the school record team score twice this season, as well as the three best all-time UK single-meet team scores.
Kayla Hartley and Alexis Gross became Kentucky’s first All-SEC selections since 2005.
Audrey Harrison will finish the season with the second most all-around titles in Division I.
The Wildcats qualified for regionals with a program record regional qualifying score of 196.06.
Competing in the nation’s top gymnastics conference, Kentucky finished the Southeastern Conference schedule with three wins, the most in school history, highlighted by a home-opening victory over then-No. 9 Arkansas. UK also beat then-No. 13 Auburn twice, and tied then-No. 6 Georgia at home.
Kentucky scored more than 196 four-consecutive weeks leading up to the SEC Championship. UK had never topped a 196 team score two meets in a row before this season.