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ST. LOUIS - Competing under the bright lights of the Chaifetz Arena, freshman Lauren Bridgens (Darnestown, Md.) made her NCAA Championships debut in the all-around Friday afternoon. Between the two sessions on Friday, Bridgens finished 28th overall in the all-around with a score of 39.2125.
"Today was such a fun experience," Bridgens said. "I had an awesome time competing in an arena with such high energy and such a cool environment! It was an honor to represent Penn State here and I'm super excited for summer training and next season where hopefully our whole team can qualify next time!"
"Lauren was awesome today," head coach Sarah Brown said. "She stayed very composed and focused and I'm so proud of her. I'm so thankful for the support from the Arkansas team and staff, they were very welcoming and supportive the entire day! We can't wait to be back as a team in the future!"
The NCAA Championship scoring format includes six judges with the highest score and the lowest score both being dropped and the four remaining scores are averaged.
For Bridgens, her event order was: bye, floor exercise, vault, bye, uneven bars, and balance beam.
Bridgens opened up the competition on the floor exercise during the second rotation. On the floor exercise, Bridgens posted a 9.7625 to tie for 69th.
During the third rotation, Bridgens posted a 9.8375 on the vault to tie for 38th.
Following a bye in the fourth rotation, Bridgens tallied her best score of the afternoon with a 9.8750 on the uneven bars to tie for 20th. Bridgens' score of 9.8750 tied the best score in program history on the uneven bars at the NCAA Championships.
Bridgens closed out the day with a 9.7375 on the balance beam to place 75th.
With her score of 39.2125, Bridgens recorded the fourth-best score in program history in the all-around at the NCAA Championships.
The Nittany Lions will return 13 members of the 2018 team for the 2019 season.