Gymnastics Qualifies for NCAA Championships
State College, Pa. -- The Penn State Women's Gymnastics team finished second in the NCAA Region 5 Championships tonight at Rec Hall to qualify for NCAA competition in Boise, Idaho.
The Lions edged third place Florida by just .05 points and fell to 2000 Big Ten Champion Michigan 196.550-195.925, but inched past Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, Sarah Cain, to claim the two of the top three slots in all-around competition. Freshman Katie Rowland (Georgetown, Ontario) finished second in the all-around with a 39.325, tying a career high and making this the seventh time she ended a meet in the top three in all-around action.
Junior Gemma Cuff (Loughoborough, England) clinched third in the all-around, hitting the 39 mark for the first time in four meets. She and Rowland split a five-way tie for second on the floor with teammates Ashley Wilson (Gainesville, Ga.) and Heather Duggan (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) and with Janessa Grieco of Michigan.
Michigan's Cain won three of the four individual events, but fell off the beam, scoring a 9.300 and pushing her out of the running for a top-three all-around finish. Florida's Chrissy Van Fleet was the top all-arounder for the evening, finishing first on beam with a 9.925 and tying for second on bars with a 9.900.
"I'm extremely proud of our team, and I definitely think we can do better than we performed tonight," said Nittany Lion head coach Steve Shephard. "I'm glad we qualified and we're looking forward to Nationals."
Penn State now heads to Boise for the NCAA Championships to be held April 13-15, making this the squad's 7th consecutive appearance under Shephard.
Team Vault Bars Beam Floor Michigan 196.550 49.300 49.375 48.550 49.325 Penn State 195.925 48.650 49.200 48.725 49.350 Florida 195.875 48.875 48.825 49.225 48.950 Rutgers 192.375 48.150 48.375 47.925 47.925 Pittsburgh 191.850 48.075 47.725 47.475 48.575 New Hampshire 191.200 47.950 47.200 48.450 47.600