Over spring break, the West Virginia University gymnastics team competed in the Big 12 Championships in Norman, Okla. Only three teams in the conference have gymnastics programs, so the Mountaineers went in facing No. 1 Oklahoma and Iowa State.
West Virginia finished in second place with a score of 195.025, the highest finish during the team’s three years in the Big 12 thus far. The Sooners won their fourth straight Big 12 title with a score of 197.875 and the Cyclones came in third place with 194.775.
The Mountaineers finished in second place on the vault and beam with scores of 49 and 48.525 respectively, and third on the floor and bars with 49 and 48.5 respectively. Senior Dayah Haley competed in the all-around position for the second-straight year and came in second place with a score of 38.95, behind Iowa State’s Haylee Young.
In the first rotation West Virginia started on the uneven bars, an event that has grown stronger over the course of the season for the team. Sophomore Alexa Goldberg scored a 9.825 taking sixth place and freshman Zaakira Muhammad hit a 9.725 tying for ninth place.
Going into the second rotation with a 48.5 score, the Mountaineers took on the beam. Freshman Jordan Gillette took seventh place with a 9.775, while junior Melissa Idell and senior Beth Deal both hit a 9.7 and tied for 10th place.
For the third rotation, West Virginia had the floor—a lineup that was ranked No. 21 in the nation at the time and now sits at No. 23. Haley anchored the event and hit a 9.85, which earned her a spot at fifth place. Idell and sophomore Mackenzie Myers tied at 10th place with a 9.8 from each gymnast.
On the vault event the Mountaineers finished with a 49. Junior Jaida Lawrence hit a 9.85 tying for fourth place; freshman Amanda Bowman took seventh place with a career high 9.825; sophomore Nicolette Swoboda tied for eighth with a 9.8; and Haley came in 10th place scoring a 9.775.
With these post-season results, three different Mountaineers are ranked in their events nationally and the floor lineup is sitting at No. 23. Haley ranks No. 31 on the floor with a 9.89 regional qualifying score, she has been ranked for seven-straight weeks now. Idell is not far behind her at spot No. 38 on the floor with a 9.885 RQS and Goldberg is ranked No. 46 on the uneven bars with a 9.87 RQS.
West Virginia ranks second in the Big 12 Conference on the vault and floor, and third on bars and beam, with a No. 3 overall ranking for the league. Following the performances at the conference meet and the national rankings posted by the team, the Mountaineers are qualified to enter the 2015 NCAA Regional Championships.
WVU is hosting this year’s Morgantown Regional Championships, which will be held Saturday at the Coliseum. The other teams participating in the meet are No. 2 Florida, No. 11 Stanford, No. 14 Illinois, No. 19 Arkansas and New Hampshire.