LSU gymnasts advance to NCAA Super Six finals

Janie Parker
April 15, 2017

Even the always-dancing coach Valorie Kondos Field felt it when her team went to balance beam.

The NCAA Women's Gymnastics National Championships are going on at Chaifetz Arena, wrapping up a hectic 30 days of events that brought plenty of cash into the city. "I wanted to vomit".

Kocian's career has been rocky, though, as she has a history of injuries, including a long-nagging shoulder issue she fought through Friday.

Behind six 9.0-plus scores, UCLA gymnastics (10-3, 5-1 Pac-12) clinched a spot in Saturday night's meet after taking second place with a 197.500 in the first semifinal Friday afternoon. "My objective is to let our best meet be tomorrow".

"I won't be happy until we're in contention to win a national championship". She posted a 9.800 or higher on vault in 9 of 13 meets. Juniors Hailey Burleson and Joslyn Goings both earned scores of 9.8875, tying for the team lead for the fifth time this season. Her top score and additional scores of 9.925 and 9.900 led to conference weekly specialist awards.

"It kind of gets into your head", Kocian said. "We were one of these big teams". Rowe (9.925) and Merrell (9.90) gave Utah three gymnasts in the top eight.

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Mossett bounced back from her fall on beam to anchor the Bruins with a 9.925 on her Beyoncé-inspired routine. Kondos Field described Kocian as someone who's "funny, but doesn't know she's amusing".

"We have a great class of incoming freshmen and a great class returning; I like the future of BYU gymnastics", Young said.

Season highlights include contending with then-ranked No. 17 Iowa on February 24 and posting a season-high 196.425, the highest score since 2005.

Three other floor routines from Ross, sophomore Katelyn Ohashi and redshirt freshman Macy Toronjo scored above a 9.825 to help the Bruins cap off their third event with their highest rotation score of the night - a 49.5375. The Red Rocks drew the Olympic order of vault, bye, bars, beam, bye, and floor. Also moving on to tomorrow's Super Six is Oklahoma who won the session with a 197.725. There will also be live cameras for each event on WatchESPN.

After a dream season, the LSU Tigers (25-1) are set to compete for a spot in the Super Six. She is now eligible to win NCAA titles in all three disciplines, depending on the results from tonight's semifinal.

Helping UCLA compete for a qualifying position for the finals - where the top six teams will face off Saturday - Ross had a standout performance on the uneven bars, earning a near-perfect score.

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