Seven Gymnasts Advance To Saturday's Event Finals
April 22, 2010
Penn State gymnasts Sharaya Musser and Brandi Personett advanced in the all-around finals, while five other conference gymnasts advanced to individual event finals on the first day of the 2010 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships, hosted by the University of Florida at the Steven C. O'Connell Center.
Michigan finished fourth as a team in Thursday's second semifinal, missing out on the team finals after finishing with a 195.700. The Wolverines fell behind first-place Alabama (196.850), second-place Florida (196.775), and third-place Stanford (196.300) in the team standings. Three Big Ten gymnasts advanced to the vault final as Illinois' Allison Buckley, and Michigan's Kylee Botterman and Brittnee Martinez moved on with scores of 9.900. Wolverine Kelsey Knutson advanced through to the balance beam final and teammate Natalie Beilstein will compete for the floor exercise individual championship.
In Thursday's first semifinal, Musser finished second in the all-around, scoring a 39.450 and advanced through to Saturday's all-around final. Musser also finished tied for third in the vault, recording a mark of 9.900. Earning a bid to the NCAA Championships by winning the vault at the Lexington Regional, Illinois' Buckley also scored a 9.900 on vault and earned a bid to Saturday night's event finals. Both earned first-team All-America honors by placing in the top four on the vault in their session.
Three other Big Ten gymnasts competed in Thursday afternoon's all-around competition. Iowa's Rebecca Simbhudas finished 11th with a final total of 39.150 and was immediately followed by Michigan State's Nicole Curler, who was 12th with 38.625 points. Illinois' Sarah Schmidt was 15th during the afternoon session, finishing the day with a score of 38.425. Simbhudas finished tied for 7th overall on the balance beam to earn second-team All-America honors.
In the evening semifinal on Thursday, Personett joined Musser in the all-around final as the Penn State senior finished fourth with a total of 39.475 to earn All-America status for the third time in her career. She tied for third on the balance beam (9.875) and on floor exercise (9.900).
Although they did not advance as a team, four Wolverine gymnasts punched their ticket to Saturday's event finals. Martinez and Botterman tied for fourth on the vault with a 9.900 to advance to Saturday's final and earn first-team All-America status. Knutson joined the two on the All-America first team as she finished in a four-way tie for third (9.875) on the balance beam to earn a spot in Saturday's event finals. A fourth Michigan gymnast, Beilstein, also advanced to Saturday's event finals after finishing with a 9.900 on the floor exercise, good enough for a third-place finish and first team All-America honors. Finishing in a tie for seventh place on the balance beam with a score of 9.850, Michigan's Jordan Sexton was named a second-team All-American.
In the all-around standings, Botterman finished just outside the top four, placing fifth with 39.425 points. Michigan teammate Sarah Curtis tied for sixth (39.400) and Martinez was 23rd (37.875), while Minnesota's Alexis Russell finished 21st (38.075).
The group of conference gymnasts advances to Saturday's individual event finals, scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. ET. Streaming video and live results will be available through NCAA.com.