The DIIIsmount: Week Nine

Division II action stepped it up a level this week, with all six teams recording season high scores. Texas Woman’s set a new “highest of the season in DII” team score on Sunday (also the highest in USAG and MIC) only to be overtaken by Lindenwood two hours later. The back-and-forth between these two teams has been so compelling this season; keep an eye out for them to go head to head twice this postseason: at the MIC Championship and then at USAG nationals.

The big story of DIII action was the WIAC Championship/NCGA West regionals, in which perpetual conference leaders UW-La Crosse and UW-Whitewater expectedly advanced to NCGA nationals. They will be joined by underdog Hamline who had an incredible Cinderella story, scoring a program-best mark to qualify for the first time in around a decade. Meanwhile, NCGA East action continued; Ithaca College continued its amazing season with a program high mark, and both Ithaca and Rhode Island College gymnasts broke individual school records.

Top DII/DIII Scores of the Weekend

Autumn Huskie Seattle Pacific VT 9.8
Itzia San Roman Seattle Pacific BB 9.825
Miyuki Matsune Seattle Pacific BB 9.8
Brandi Lazarus Texas Woman’s VT 9.875
Mallory Moredock Texas Woman’s VT 9.85
Megan Gentry Texas Woman’s VT 9.8
Bria Northrop Texas Woman’s UB 9.85
Alyssa Kelly Texas Woman’s UB 9.825
Alyssa Kelly Texas Woman’s BB 9.875
Schyler Jones Texas Woman’s BB 9.8
Schyler Jones Texas Woman’s FX 9.875
Mallory Moredock Texas Woman’s FX 9.85
Courtney Mitchell Lindenwood VT 9.8
Kierstin Sokolowski Lindenwood VT 9.875
Andy Alexander Lindenwood UB 9.825
Ryan Henry Lindenwood UB 9.8
Andy Alexander Lindenwood BB 9.8
Breanna Franklin Lindenwood BB 9.8
Emily Milliet Lindenwood BB 9.875
Kierstin Sokolowski Lindenwood BB 9.925
Andy Alexander Lindenwood FX 9.875
Kathryn Doran Bridgeport UB 9.9
Kelli Tereshko Bridgeport UB 9.825
Kathryn Doran Bridgeport BB 9.8
Maya Reimers Bridgeport FX 9.825
Kelli Aycock Bridgeport FX 9.8
Brittany Vasile Brockport FX 9.8
Navia Jordan Centenary FX 9.8
Melanie Wojewoda West Chester UB 9.85
Jessica Meakim West Chester FX 9.825
Madison Brent West Chester FX 9.825
Tali Twomey Springfield FX 9.825
Carolyn Nichols Ithaca VT 9.8
Katie Holcomb Ithaca BB 9.825
Victoria Gery Ithaca FX 9.825
Emma Schulz Cortland FX 9.8
Shaquilla Payne UW-Stout VT 9.8
Brooke Kachinsky UW-La Crosse BB 9.8

No. 30 Iowa at No. 53 Texas Woman’s
Full Results TWU: 195.575 Iowa: 195.525
VT: Lazarus 9.875 UB: Zurawski 9.875 BB: Chow, Kelly 9.875 FX: Jones, Snyder 9.875 AA: Jones 39.175
  • TWU set season highs on vault, bars and the team total.

Texas Woman’s set several season highs on the way to a narrow and shocking upset of DI Iowa. Three Pioneers walked away with event titles—Brandi Lazarus on vault, Alyssa Kelly on beam (tying her career high) and Schyler Jones on floor. Jones also won the all around. The Pioneers led at the midpoint after a difficult bar rotation for Iowa, but the Hawkeyes stormed back on floor and narrowed the margin. Ultimately, though, it’s difficult to stage a comeback against TWU home floor, especially with the stellar one-two punch of Mallory Moredock and Jones closing the rotation. The Pioneers got the win by a margin of only half a tenth and recorded the highest team mark of the DII/USAG season, only to be overtaken by Lindenwood mere hours later.

No. 41 Bowling Green and No. 50 Lindenwood at No. 33 Illinois
Full Results Ill.: 196.700 LU: 195.625 BGSU: 195.325
VT: Sokolowski, 9.875 UB: Balthazor, 9.95 BB: Hodan, 9.95 FX: Biondi, Howell, 9.9 AA: Biondi, 39.425
  • Lindenwood recorded its third highest score in program history and its highest during the regular season.
  • It also set a school record on beam.

Texas Woman’s set a challenge with its season high on Sunday afternoon, and Lindenwood answered two hours later with one of its own that immediately overtook TWU for the highest score of the season in DII, USAG and MIC. The Lions began with an outstanding 48.800 on bars, led by Ryan Henry and Kierstin Sokolowski. It continued with a program record 49.175 on beam, with no score below 9.775. Sokolowski’s 9.925 in the anchor position led the team and came close to her own program record 9.950. Andy Alexander led the team on floor, finishing an outstanding day where she scored 9.800+ on all three of her events, and Sokolowski’s meet-winning vault led the Lions to an upset of DI Bowling Green.

WIAC Championship/NCGA West Regional with No. 81 Gustavus Adolphus, No. 79 Hamline, No. 78 UW-Eau Claire, No. 69 UW-La Crosse, No. 76 UW-Stout, No. 71 UW-Whitewater and No. 77 Winona State
Full Results UW-LC: 191.875 UW-W: 191.725 Hamline: 189.700 UW-EC: 187.775
GA: 185.725 Winona St.: 184.900 UW-O: 184.700 UW-S: 183.825
VT: Payne 9.800 UB: Kachinsky 9.800 BB: Hutton 9.750 FX: Mierow, Tribbett 9.750 AA: Wiekamp 38.425
  • UW-Stout’s Shaquilla Payne set a championship record with 9.800 on vault.
  • Gustavus Adolphus set a new program record on beam.
  • UW-La Crosse tied its program record on bars.

La Crosse, Whitewater and Hamline advanced to NCGA Nationals out of the west regional, which also served as the WIAC conference championship on Sunday. La Crosse upset defending WIAC and NCGA champion Whitewater with a 191.875 for its 24th WIAC title. Its final score is the fifth-best in program history, and it tied its program record on bars. La Crosse gymnast Samantha Wiekamp claimed the WIAC all around title while Brooke Kachinsky won bars; she was La Crosse’s fourth consecutive WIAC bars champion.

Whitewater’s second-place finish was its 10th consecutive top two result at the WIAC Championship, qualifying it to NCGA nationals for the 12th straight year. Whitewater and La Crosse are both incredibly competitive teams who regularly trade off the upper hand in WIAC and NCGA action, so Whitewater won’t be too upset to concede this one—both teams are in serious contention for the NCGA title. It registered a season high score that was also No. 8 in program history and took home two event titles from Kate Mierow on floor and Franchesca Hutton on beam.

Hamline dazzled to claim third and qualify to NCGA nationals for the first time in around a decade. The Pipers were ranked sixth in the eight-team field coming into the meet and finished eighth last year, so finishing top three is a massive accomplishment. The Pipers’ team total was a school record, and Sydney Tribbett took home the floor title with a 9.750. Morgan Bradford led the team on bars, its critical fourth rotation, with a career high of 9.525.

No. 57 Air Force, No. 29 Central Michigan and No. 66 Seattle Pacific at No. 48 San Jose State
Full Results SJSU: 195.050 CMU: 194.625 USAFA: 194.500 SPU: 193.225
VT: Chan 9.875 UB: Salamone 9.900 BB: Clements 9.900 FX: Chan 9.900 AA: Plaksa 39.050
  • Seattle Pacific set a season high for the second consecutive week.
  • It also set season highs on three events.
No. 52 Bridgeport, No. 67 Brockport and No. 65 Southern Connecticut at No. 63 Brown
Full Results UB: 194.800 Brown: 193.150 SCSU: 192.050 Brockport St.: 190.975
VT: Mager 9.775 UB: Doran 9.900 BB: Doran 9.800 FX: Reimers 9.875 AA: Doran 38.975
  • Southern Connecticut tied its program record on vault and set new program highs on bars and in the team total.
  • Bridgeport set a season high.
No. 62 West Chester at No. 58 William & Mary
Full Results W&M: 195.100 WCU: 193.450
VT: Waldman 9.825 UB: Pakshong, Waldman 9.875 BB: White 9.800 FX: Brent, Kerr, Meakim, Waldman 9.825 AA: Waldman 39.300
No. 72 Springfield at No. 60 Cornell
Full Results Cornell: 192.950 Springfield: 187.050
VT: Herczeg 9.775 UB: Kurfirst 9.700 BB: Shen 9.825 FX: Henry 9.925 AA: Shen 38.975
  • Springfield’s 47.975 on vault is the highest vault total in program history.
No. 72 Centenary at No. 64 Illinois State
Full Results Illinois State: 193.6 Centenary: 191.075
VT: Cooke 9.825 UB: Marema 9.825 BB: Harris, Cooke 9.775 FX: Cooke 9.9 AA: Cooke 39.25
No. 70 Ithaca at No. 75 Cortland
Full Results Ithaca: 191.400 Cortland St.: 190.725
VT: Nichols 9.800 UB: McConnell 9.725 BB: Holcomb 9.825 FX: Gery 9.825 AA: N/A
  • Ithaca’s 191.400 is the highest score in program history.
  • Katie Holcomb (Ithaca) recorded the highest beam score in program history.
  • Carolyn Nichols (Ithaca) recorded the highest vault score in program history, beating a score she previously set.
No. 82 Rhode Island at No. 74 Ursinus
Full Results Ursinus: 187.300 RIC: 181.150
VT: LaFountain, Puryear 9.400 UB: Palladino 9.600 BB: Palladino 9.675 FX: LaFountain 9.675 AA: Murphy 37.225
  • Miranda Murphy (RIC) recorded the best beam score in program history with a 9.600.

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Article by Rebecca Scally

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