TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 23 Mizzou gymnastics team erupted for the third-highest team score in program history with a 197.325 in the NCAA Regional Second Round to advance to tomorrow's NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Final. No. 1 Oklahoma won the night session with a 198.000, followed by Mizzou in second and Maryland in third with a 195.075.
As the top two finishers in the night session, Oklahoma and Mizzou advance to face No. 7 Alabama and No. 10 Arkansas, the qualifiers from the Tuscaloosa Regional afternoon session, in the regional final at 7 p.m. CT tomorrow. The top two teams from the regional final will advance to the national championships.
During the meet, the Tigers set program regional score records as a in overall score, and on beam and floor, as well as notching the second-highest beam total in school history. Additionally, freshman Sydney Schaffer (Andover, Kan.) and junior Hannah McCrary (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) set Mizzou individual regional records, on beam and floor, respectively, and freshman Amaya Marshall (Kannapolis, N.C.) tied the regional high on bars.
Missouri opened the meet with a 49.300 on vault, the highest-ever regional score on the event, and a season-high. McCrary closed the rotation with a career-high-tying 9.925, which also broke the team's individual floor regional high. Junior Alisa Sheremeta (Circleville, N.Y.) tied her career-best with a 9.9, and sophomore Sienna Schreiber (Cumming, Ga.) went a 9.85. Additionally, senior Gabrielle Gottula (Spring, Texas) posted a 9.825 and Schaffer also went a career-best with a 9.8.
A 49.250 on vault tied the team's season-best thanks to all six scores of 9.8 or better. Gottula led the way with a 9.875 in the anchor position, while Marshall, McCrary and Schreiber all tallied 9.85s. Schaffer notched another career-high with a 9.825 and sophomore Hollyn Patrick (Lafayette, Colo.) added a 9.8.
Marshall led the way on bars in the third rotation with a career-best 9.9, as Mizzou totaled 49.325 as a team. The team score was a season-best and tied for the sixth-highest event total on the event ever for the Tigers. Patrick and Sheremeta both notched 9.875s, which tied Patrick's personal-best and set Sheremeta's, and senior Chelsey Christensen (Rapid City, S.D.) also matched her career-high with a 9.85. Schreiber also added a 9.825.
The Tigers closed the meet on beam with a 49.450, which stands as the second-highest beam total in program history, as four Tigers scored at least a 9.9. Schaffer nailed her routine for a career-best 9.95 to become the third Mizzou gymnast this season to go at least 9.95 on the apparatus and tally the highest-ever score for a Tiger on beam in a regional. Three more Tigers, Gottula, Schreiber and Sheremeta, all earned 9.9s, and Marshall claimed a 9.8.
Mizzou Head Coach Shannon Welker
"I'm really pleased with tonight. I'm just really excited for these young ladies, they had a lot of challenges this year and they worked really hard to get to this point. It's the first time we qualified for a regional final since they changed the format. Anytime we get off to that strong start like we did tonight on floor, it just rolls from there. They were in the zone and having fun and hitting routines. We put up a lot of record-breaking performances tonight, which is exciting."
"This is great for our program overall, it puts our program ahead of schedule. We really need to make it an expectation to make it into the regional final, and that was a really great step for us tonight. We have talent on our team currently and in future years, that could put us in NCAA championships if we do our job. It was an exciting step for our program tonight."
The Tigers will take on No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 7 Alabama and No. 10 Arkansas in the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Final on Saturday, April 3 at 7 p.m. CT.