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    SEC In NCAA Gymnastics: April 21

     

    Alabama Gymnastics Junior Diandra Milliner Wins NCAA Vault Title
     
    LOS ANGELES – A year after taking second place, Alabama gymnast Diandra Milliner won the NCAA Vault Championship Sunday afternoon in Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus. 
     
    Milliner shared the title with LSU’s Rheagan Courville after both women scored 9.925s in front of a six-judge panel. It was Alabama’s 24th individual NCAA title and 10th over the past decade. Milliner is the second UA gymnast to win an NCAA vault title, joining Ashley Miles who won vault in 2003, 2004 and 2006.  
     
    Milliner was also second on the floor exercise with a 9.925, just .0125 out of first. Her floor finish marked the third year in a row that an Alabama gymnast has finished first or second on the floor.
     
    In individual finals there are six judges on each event. On the uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise the score is determined by taking out the high and low scores and averaging the remaining four. On the vault all six scores are averaged. 
     
    Sophomore Kayla Williams was fifth on the balance beam with a 9.85 while junior Kim Jacob was 10th on the floor exercise with a 9.8. Sophomore Kaitlyn Clark and freshman Lauren Beers both scored 9.875s on the vault to take 11th place out of 24 vaulters. 
     
    All the individual event finalists earned first team All-American honors in the events they competed on. Overall, seven UA gymnasts earned 12 All-American honors in 2013, giving the Tide 64 athletes with 289 honors all-time. 
     
    Jacob and Milliner led the way with three All-American honors apiece. It bumped Jacob’s career total to seven and Milliner’s to six. Jacob was first-team on the floor exercise and second team in the all-around and on balance beam while Milliner was first team on the vault and floor and second team on the balance beam. 
     
    Williams earned first team honors on the balance beam and is now a two-time All-American for her career. Clark and Beers both earned first-team honors on the vault for the first honors of their careers. 
     
    Fifth-year senior Ashley Priess earned second team honors in the all-around and on the uneven bars, giving her 10 All-American accolades for her career.  Junior Sarah DeMeo earned second team honors on the beam to make her a three-time All-American. 

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    Grable finishes sixth on Floor at NCAA Event Finals

    Los Angeles, Calif. – Junior All-American Katherine Grable recorded a 9.8875 on the floor in the NCAA Event Finals, finishing sixth nationally.

    “I went out there and wanted to hit my routine,” Grable said. “I thought I did really well and I’m so happy to represent my team today. I thought our team did really well this season and I am really proud of our performance this weekend.”

    Grable scored a 9.95 to tie for the event title on Friday in Arkansas’ semifinal to qualify for the individual event finals. Grable claimed 19 event titles over the season for the Razorbacks.

    “Katherine had one of her best routines of the season,” co-head coach Rene Lyst said. “I am so pleased with the way the whole team competed this weekend and to have Katherine compete in event finals is awesome.”

    Grable previously qualified for two individual event finals, on the floor exercise in 2011 and on the balance beam in 2012. She finished tied for 9th on the floor and 6th in the nation on the beam.

    Grable is the third Razorback gymnast in the history of the program to qualify for the individual event finals on the floor. Casey Jo Magee finished 10th in 2010 with a 9.8125. Jaime Pisani qualified in 2011 and 2012, finishing tied for 5th place (9.90) and 9th place (9.8625), respectively.

    “Katherine I thought had one of her best routines I have ever seen,” assistant coach Samantha Cortez said. “Our floor rotation started out a little bit shaky at the beginning of the season but really began hitting our stride towards the end of the season and it really shows when we are able to have an individual finalist.”

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    Gym Dogs Wrap Up Competition At NCAA Championships
     
    LOS ANGELES-----The Georgia gymnastics team concluded competition at the NCAA Championships Sunday as three Gym Dogs competed in the individual event finals at Pauley Pavilion.
     
    Chelsea Davis placed sixth on bars with a 9.85 and 23rd on vault with a 9.75. Lindsey Cheek tied for 17th on vault with a 9.825, and Brandie Jay finished 20th on vault with a 9.8083.
     
    Sunday's competition featured six judges on each event, and the high and low scores were dropped and the middle four scores averaged.
     
    “Chelsea, Lindsey and Brandie had great years,” said UGA coach Danna Durante. “All three will be back next season, so that speaks to the future of this program. The performances today were good, and I told them that every time they are in a setting like this it is a chance to get better."
     
    The event winners included Alabama's Diandra Milliner and LSU's Rheagan Courville with a pair of 9.925s on vault, Florida’s Alaina Johnson on bars with a 9.9125, Florida’s Bridget Sloan on beam with a 9.9, and Michigan’s Joanna Sampson on floor with a 9.9375.
     
    By placing in the top four of the NCAA prelims on Friday, Cheek, Davis and Jay earned first team All-America honors and earned spots in Sunday’s competition. Four other Gym Dogs earned second team All-America honors, including Brittany Rogers (bars), Christa Tanella (bars), Shayla Worley (bars) and Noel Couch (floor). Cheek also earned second team honors on beam.
     
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    COURVILLE CAPTURES VAULT NATIONAL TITLE ON FINAL DAY OF NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
     
    LOS ANGELES – Rheagan Courville joined elite company in LSU gymnastics history and capped a fantastic 2013 season for the Tigers by winning the vault national title Sunday afternoon at the NCAA Individual Event Finals.
     
    A sophomore from Baton Rouge, Courville is the third LSU gymnast to win the vault national title, joining Susan Jackson in 2008 and Ashleigh Clare-Kearney in 2009, and her victory gives LSU nine overall individual national titles in school history.
     
    “I am so proud of Rheagan for winning the title,” LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. “She performed a beautiful vault that was truly national championship quality, and her performance today is attributed to the great coaching job Bob Moore has done with her and all of the kids on vault this season.
     
    “We are very grateful to have such an outstanding all-arounder win the vaulting championship, and we are excited about the future, not only for Rheagan, but for the entire team.”
     
    Courville stuck her vault with great height and distance to score a 9.9250 after all six judges’ scores were averaged. Courville was the second of 23 vaulters to compete, and her score held as the best of the afternoon, equaled only by Alabama’s Diandra Milliner who shared the title.
     
    “It’s such an honor to join such successful athletes from LSU,” Courville said. “It’s all about pride in your school, and I am so excited that half our vaulting lineup was in vault finals. It says so much about our team and coaches.”
     
    Courville finished as the national runner-up in the all-around by scoring a 39.575 in the semifinal on Friday, and she also took ninth place on floor with a 9.8125 in her final performance of the year on Sunday. 
     
    Courville’s all-around finish is the second highest in LSU history behind Jackson who won the 2010 all-around national title.
     
    Junior Sarie Morrison also placed in the bars and vault finals, finishing in a tie for seventh on bars with a 9.8250 and a tie for eighth on vault with a 9.8917.
     
    Freshman Randii Wyrick ended her season with a solid routine to score a 9.8000 and finish 10th on bars, and junior Maliah Mathis posted a 9.8667 to take 13th place on vault.
     
    Courville’s title marks the sixth in the last six seasons, the eighth NCAA title in the last 12 years and the ninth overall championship for the Tigers.
     
    LSU finished the 2013 NCAA Championships with 10 All-America honors, which ties the 2006 and 2009 squads for the most in a single season in school history. LSU also tied the school record with seven First-Team All-America honors previously set by the 2009 squad.
     
    LSU earned the third-most All-America honors of any team in 2013, only trailing Florida’s 16 and Alabama’s 12.
     
    The Tigers wrapped up the 2013 team season on Saturday in the Super Six with a 197.050 to earn fifth place, tying the 2008 squad for the second-highest finish in school history. 

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    Florida Gymnasts Alaina Johnson & Bridget Sloan Win NCAA Event Titles 
     
    LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A pair of Gators claimed apparatus titles Sunday in the final day of NCAA Gymnastics Championships competition held in front of 2,825 at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. Junior Alaina Johnson is the first Gator to claim the NCAA uneven bars title and freshman Bridget Sloan added the balance beam crown to her all-around win she collected on Friday. 
     
    This is the second time a pair of Gators stepped to the top of the NCAA individual event finals podium for two different titles. The last time also was in Pauley Pavilion in 1998 when Susan Hines successfully defended her vault title and then freshman Betsy Hamm shared the balance beam crown. 
     
    Sunday, Johnson used a 9.9125 to take the uneven bars win. The Gators were well represented on the bars award podium, as Sloan shared second at 9.90 and junior teammate Mackenzie Caquatto shared fourth at 9.8875. 
     
    Sloan’s 9.90 gave her the beam win. It was her third 9.90 or better beam mark of the weekend, as she advanced to the final with her 9.90 in Friday’s semifinal competition and she shared the beam lead in Saturday’s Super Six at 9.95. Two other Gators joined Sloan on the beam award’s podium. Mackenzie Caquatto was fourth at 9.85 and senior Marissa King took seventh with her 9.7875. 
     
    For the first time since 2007, Florida was represented in each of the four apparatus finals. In the vault final, senior Ashanée Dickerson shared fifth (9.90) while sophomore Kytra Hunter took 16th (9.85) and Johnson tied for 17th (9.825). Two Gators also appeared in the floor exercise final. Sloan shared fourth at 9.90 and King tied for sixth at 9.8875.
     
    The third time was the charm for Johnson, who has appeared in the NCAA uneven bars final each year of her collegiate career. Johnson glided fluidly through her winning routine, punctuated by a stuck double layout dismount, showing no effects of her eight-meet layoff from competition after she was diagnosed with a lower back stress reaction and stress fracture after the third meet of the season. 
     
    Rest played a big part in her recovery course and Johnson did not train gymnastics from the final week in January to the week of March 16. It was the routines she performed over and over in her mind which helped her make a successful return to the Gators’ competitive lineup for the April 6 NCAA Regionals. 
     
    “A lot of it comes through visualizing for me. In some free time I’ll visualize my routine and feel it through my body. That’s the number one thing,” Johnson said. “And I kept in shape doing cardio and what I could, and that helped also.”
     
    Johnson earned her spot in the NCAA bar final with a 9.925 in Friday’s semifinal round. Florida’s final competitor of Saturday’s NCAA Super Six team final, Johnson’s bar mark of 9.95 helped finish the Gators’ championship effort.
     
    Sloan admitted post-competition her energy tank was ebbing after the Gators’ dramatic performance Saturday to claim the program’s first NCAA team title. But she was ready to enjoy her final competition of what has been a spectacular freshman season. 
     
    “We won the national team championship, but the six of us wanted to finish it off strong. It was awesome to be on the podium again. As soon as you saluted, the adrenaline started to pick up and you were ready to go again. It was just such an awesome experience to share with the team. 
     
    Sloan is the sixth in the 32-year history of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships to win multiple NCAA event titles as a freshman. Joining her on that select list is Hunter, who won the 2012 NCAA all-around and vault titles.
     
    Alabama’s Diandra Milliner and LSU’s Rheagan Courville shared the NCAA vault title at 9.925. Michigan’s Joanna Sampson took the floor exercise crown at 9.9375.