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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Freshman Lauren Bridgens is set to make her NCAA Championships debut on Friday, April 20, at the Chaifetz Arena, in St. Louis, Missouri. Bridgens will compete in the afternoon session at 1 p.m. (EDT) and will rotate with the University of Arkansas.
Bridgens’ event order will be: bye, floor exercise, vault, bye, uneven bars, and balance beam.
Friday’s competition is split into two sessions with a 1 p.m. (EDT) session and a 7 p.m. (EDT) session. The individual and all-around national champions will be determined on Friday.
Bridgens looks to become only the second Nittany Lion to win an NCAA title (Pam Loree – vault – 1986) and the first Nittany Lion to garner All-America honors at the NCAA Championships since Sharaya Musser (all-around & vault – 2013).
Fans can watch the 1 p.m. (EDT) session live on ESPN2.
As a team, the Nittany Lions are coming off a fifth-place finish (194.900) at the University Park Regional.
Individually, Lauren Bridgens punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships as she tied for third in the all-around with a score of 39.200.
On the day for Bridgens, she tallied scores of 9.900 (vault), 9.850 (uneven bars), 9.700 (balance beam), and 9.750 (floor exercise).
Bridgens closed out the meet on the vault with her best score of the afternoon (9.900) to tie for third on the apparatus.
PENN STATE AT THE NCAA MEET
The Nittany Lions have been represented at 15 of the last 16 NCAA Championships, either individually or as a team.
Penn State has appeared at the NCAA Championships 17 times as a team and has captured one NCAA individual title in program history (Pam Loree – vault – 1986).
In the all-around, Tsang placed 30th with a 39.1000, while Garcia finished 39th with a 38.6000.
For Garcia, she tied for 41st on the balance beam (9.8500) and then tied for 72nd on the floor exercise (9.8000). She then tallied a 9.7625 on the vault to tie for 66th and she placed 84th on the uneven bars with a score of 9.1875 to end the meet.
For Tsang, she finished tied for 60th on the vault (9.7750), tied for 61st on the uneven bars (9.7875), tied for 76th on the balance beam (9.6375), and she ended the night with a 9.9000 on the floor exercise to tie for 18th.
Following the conclusion of the 2018 regular season, Lauren Bridgens and Briannah Tsang were named Second Team All-Americans by the National Association of College Gymnastics Coaches for Women (NACGC/W).
Bridgens was named a Second Team All-American on the uneven bars, while Tsang was tabbed a Second Team All-American on the floor exercise.
BIG TEN HONORS
A trio of Nittany Lions have garnered honors from the Big Ten conference during the 2018 season.
Freshman Lauren Bridgens was named First Team All-Big Ten and was tabbed the Big Ten Freshman of the Week five times.
Junior Sabrina Garcia was named a Second Team All-Big Ten honoree.
Senior Briannah Tsang has been named the Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Year, First Team All-Big Ten, and Big Ten Gymnast of the Week four times.
RAISING THE BAR
Prior to the University Park Regional, the Penn State uneven bars lineup ranked 11th in the nation with a regional qualifying score (RQS) of 49.275.
The Nittany Lions have ranked as high as seventh in the nation on the uneven bars (March 12).
Heading into the 2017 NCAA Regional meet, Penn State ranked 22nd on the uneven bars with an RQS of 49.115.
RECORD SETTING PERFORMANCES
On the year, the Nittany Lions have set five PSU record book performances.
As a team, the Nittany Lions have recorded the No. 2 (49.475) and tied-No. 4 (49.375) scores on the uneven bars.
On March 9, freshman Lauren Bridgens recorded the first perfect 10 on the uneven bars in program history. Bridgens’ perfect 10 is also the 10th perfect 10 in program history and the first since Feb. 13, 2010.
Becerra comes to Penn State after spending the 2017 season as an assistant coach under Coach Brown at Eastern Michigan.
Drass, a 1990 Penn State graduate, returns to Happy Valley with a wealth of coaching experience. Most recently, Drass served as the assistant head coach for the University of Pittsburgh women’s gymnastics team from 2014-17. While at Penn State, Drass was a member of the Penn State men’s gymnastics program.