Florida Takes NCAA Regional, Momentum into National

(photos by jb) The Florida Gators unsurprisingly topped the scorecard ahead of Stanford and Illinois in a close fight at Saturday’s Morgantown Regional NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championship, hosted by West Virginia University. Arkansas, New Hampshire and host West Virginia failed to earn a berth in the National Championships to be held in Texas.

Bridget Sloan took the all-around title with a score of 39.800, winning vault (9.975) & floor (9.950), and placing second on beam (9.925) and bars (9.950). Illinois-Champaign gymnasts swept second through fourth AA, led by Giana O’Connor (39.475), Mary Jane Horth (39.350) and Erin Buchanan (39.3). A pleasant surprise was Sasha Tsikhanovich from Division II Bridgeport, who placed fifth all-around and tied for fourth on FX.

IMGP9795msIllinois missed going to Nationals by .325, but will be sending three of their gymnasts to Fort Worth: O’Connor, Horth and Sunny Kato (first on Bars, tied for third on beam).

IMGP0052mPhotos: Bridget Sloan dominated, seen here on balance beam. Also pictured: Gator standout Kytra Hunter and Stanford’s Ivana Hong, who took the balance beam title)