Gymnastics: WVU Finishes Fourth at Regionals
by Shannon McNamara for MSNsportsNET.com
April 10, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 6-seeded West Virginia University gymnastics team scored 195.1 points and finished fourth at the 2010 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships this evening in front of 2,144 fans at the WVU Coliseum.
Stanford and Michigan, the meet’s top two seeds, finished first (196.775) and second (195.8), respectively, and earned the right to advance to the 2010 NCAA National Championships. No. 3-seeded Southern Utah finished third (195.325), while No. 5 seed Kent State (194.825) and No. 4 seed NC State (193.425) finished behind the Mountaineers.
Also advancing from this evening’s regional to the national championships are NC State’s Taylor Seaman and Southern Utah’s Elise Wheeler. Seaman and Wheeler finished sixth (39.3) and seventh (39.25), respectively, and earned the right to move on as the meet’s top two all-arounders not attached to an advancing team.
The Wolverines’ Kylee Botterman finished first overall with 39.55 points.
Competing in front of the school’s sixth-best crowd, the Mountaineers (19-9, 12-2 EAGL) put together one of their most-solid meets of the year. Not only did WVU earn its second-best team score of the season, the squad also finished first on beam with a season-best 48.85 mark. WVU rounded out its night with fifth-place finishes on vault (48.8), bars (48.6) and floor (48.85).
Junior Amy Bieski came within 0.15 points of individually qualifying for the national championships, as the Nanticoke, Pa., native scored 39.1 points, a regional career-best score, and finished ninth overall.
Bieski’s score is her eighth 39.0-plus mark of the season and the 15th of her career. She is now tied with volunteer assistant Mehgan Morris (2006-09) and TeShawne Jackson (2000-03) for fifth place on the WVU all-time career 39.0-plus all-around scores list.
Additionally, after breaking onto the WVU all-time career points list on March 19, Bieski ends the season ranked 17th with 1,474.9 points.
WVU got off to a fast start this evening and sat in third place through the first rotation thanks to a 48.6 bars showing.
Junior Emily Kerwin paced the bars corps and finished in 15th place with 9.775 points; the mark is Kerwin’s best since scoring a career-high 9.8 on Jan. 30. Junior Nicole Roach finished second on the squad with a 9.75 score, while Bieski tallied 9.725 and finished third on the team.
The Mountaineers’ momentum grew exponentially in the second rotation, as two career-high scores helped the team tally a season-best 48.85 beam mark. Through two rotations, WVU owned a 97.45 combined score.
Bieski finished third overall with a career-best 9.85; she previously scored 9.8 twice this season. Senior Kiersten Spoerke anchored the lineup and finished sixth overall with 9.825 points, while Roach preceded Bieski with a career-best 9.8 mark, good enough for ninth place overall. Freshman Chelsea Goldschrafe opened the Mountaineers’ lineup with a sturdy 9.725 routine.
WVU continued to dazzle in its third rotation, scoring 48.85 points and pushing its team total to 146.3.
Goldschrafe, enjoying a strong month on floor at the Coliseum, equaled a career-high score and paced the Mountaineers with a 9.825 mark, the meet’s fourth-best score. A Franklin Lakes, N.J., native, Goldschrafe first achieved the point total on March 19. Bieski and sophomore Tina Maloney tied for second on the team with 9.8 scores, while Spoerke opened the rotation with a 9.75 mark.
The Mountaineers ended their evening with a 48.8 showing on vault.
Senior Chelsi Tabor concluded her Mountaineer career anchoring WVU’s vault lineup and finishing fifth overall with a team-best 9.875 score. The Beckley, W.Va., native leaves the program ranked sixth on the WVU all-time list with seven career 9.9-plus scores. Maloney finished second on the team and 14th overall with a 9.8, while Bieski and freshman Alaska Richardson tied for third place on the team with 9.725 scores.
Following the meet’s conclusion, assistant head coach Jason Butts earned his second-straight NCAA Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year award.
Advancing to the 2010 NCAA National Championships (April 22-23, Gainesville, Fla.)
Individual All-Around (not on a qualifying team)