Missouri gymnastics is unable to advance to NCAA Championships

The Tigers tied the second highest regional score in program history, but placed third and could not advance out of the Gainesville regional.

The MU gymnastics team runs onto the mat before a home meet.

Missouri gymnastics failed to advance to the NCAA Championships on Saturday, placing third out of six teams in the Gainesville, Florida, regional. Missouri posted a team score of 196.100, finishing behind Southeastern Conference foes No. 3 Florida and No. 10 Georgia.

Missouri just missed the cut, as two teams advance from each regional to the NCAA Championships. Last season the Tigers experienced the same fate, finishing third in the Minneapolis regional.

The team score of 196.100 tied the second highest regional score in program history, but it came in a lackluster performance. The team scored below its season averages on floor, vault and beam on Saturday.

The Tigers posted a 49.025 on floor to begin the meet. Junior Kennedi Harris led the team with a 9.875, but no other Missouri gymnast scored above a 9.8.

On the bars, the Tigers notched a 49.150, well above their season average. Juniors Becca Schugel, Shauna Miller and sophomore Brooke Kelly scored 9.85s to pace the team.

Sophomore Britney Ward powered the Tigers on vault and beam, receiving a score of 9.875 on both apparatuses. Ward earned second team All-America honors on vault and beam this season, and she was a second-team All-American on beam last season.

Ward finished 0.25 away from advancing individually to the National Championships on beam. But with Ward just missing out, no Missouri gymnasts were able to advance to the National Championships. Last season, sophomore Morgan Porter, who suffered a season-ending achilles injury in January, advanced to the national championships as an all-around.

Missouri’s focus now turns to next season. The team appears to be in a good spot, as it will have key contributors returning and Porter returning from injury.

Coach Shannon Welker continues to lead the Tigers to new heights. This season, the team broke the program’s beam and vault records, and achieved the third highest team score in program history. Missouri was ranked within the top-15 for the entire season, and made its third consecutive NCAA regional appearance.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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