Senior gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer became West Virginia University’s 18th individual qualifier for the NCAA National Championships in program history Saturday.
The Cornwall, N.Y., native tied for first on the balance beam and tied for second in the all-around at the NCAA Athens Regional Championships in Athens, Ga.
Sloanhoffer, who was recently named Athlete of the Week by WVUsports.com, will be paired with No. 12 Penn State at the NCAA National Championships set for April 18-20 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Conventional Complex in Birmingham, Ala. She and the Nittany Lions are scheduled to compete during the evening session.
“I’m excited for Hope (Sloanhoffer) to compete with Penn State,” said WVU head coach Jason Butts in an interview with WVUsports.com. “I know their staff well, and the team will be a good fit for (her). I’m also thrilled that (she) will compete in the evening session, as the intensity and energy builds throughout the day and will be great by the time (she) competes.”
Sloanhoffer has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Mountaineers in her senior campaign. She is WVU’s first individual qualifier since 2009 and the first under Butts.
At the regional championships, Sloanhoffer hit for a 9.85 score on the balance beam, 9.8 on the floor routine, 9.775 on the uneven bars, 9.75 on the vault routine and a 39.175 in the all-around.
Butts said Sloanhoffer has been doing the best gymnastics of her stellar career as of late and said that’s exactly what he expected when he first began recruiting her.
In the final regular season meet of her career at Maryland, Sloanhoffer dominated the
competition on her way to winning the all-around and vault outright and tied for first on the uneven bars.
Sloanhoffer kept her momentum rolling into the Big 12 championships at the WVU Coliseum, capturing WVU’s first Big 12 Conference championship in the all-around.
The senior star now shifts her attention to the biggest stage in collegiate gymnastics. Sloanhoffer’s rotation with Penn State will be: Bye, Floor Exercise, Vault, Bye, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam.
Regardless of the outcome at the national championships, it’s safe to say Sloanhoffer will be remembered as one of the program’s top gymnasts.