2013 UAA Gymnastics Season Recap
SEASON IN REVIEW …
BRIEF SEASON RECAP: The Alaska Anchorage gymnastics team turned in one of the best seasons in program history in 2013, with its season average score of 191.190 among 17 newly established school records. The Seawolves also set season marks on vault, beam and floor, while freshman M’rcy Matsunami broke the individual all-around average mark at 38.539. In January, UAA earned its first-ever dual victory against longtime rival Seattle Pacific, and in February the Seawolves closed out their home season with their second-highest score ever at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex with a 192.850 against Eastern Michigan. Matsunami earned three All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors, while junior Emily Petersen earned a pair and sophomore Morgan Cook had one.
MATSUNAMI TO REGIONALS: Freshman M’rcy Matsunami became the 12th Seawolf ever to compete at the NCAA Div. I West Regional Championships, representing UAA on vault at the Apr. 6 meet in Corvallis, Ore. … Matsunami scored a 9.6 to finish 41st in a field packed with nationally ranked squads … she became the second Seawolf to qualify on a single apparatus, joining Dominique Ingram (2005).
ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS: Freshman M’rcy Matsunami earned selection on three events and junior Emily Petersen grabbed a pair of honors when the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation announced its 2013 Women’s Gymnastics All-Conference Team on Mar. 26 … the All-MPSF team is decided by the top regional qualifying scores (RQS) among the league’s gymnasts … Matsunami recorded the conference’s third-best RQS in the all-around at 38.600, along with ranks of third on vault (9.790) and fourth on floor exercise (9.610) … Petersen posted a league-best 9.785 RQS on balance beam – edging MPSF Gymnast of the Year Katie Yamamura of UC Davis by 0.005 – and earned the third-highest RQS on uneven bars at 9.765 … Petersen captured six individual event victories this season … sophomore Morgan Cook, from Hot Springs, Ark., earned her second career honor with the league’s sixth-best RQS on balance beam at 9.695.
PETERSEN MVP: Junior Emily Petersen was named the Alaska Anchorage gymnastics team’s 2013 MVP on when the team celebrated its record-setting season with their year-end banquet Apr. 25 … Petersen was instrumental on UAA’s team season average records for vault, uneven bars, balance beam and total score – while posting six individual victories throughout the season … the Indianapolis native earned the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s highest regional qualifying score on balance beam with a 9.785, and was also an All-MPSF honoree on uneven bars with a 9.675 RQS … she earned six 9.8-plus scores on the season, with her 9.825 beam routine vs. Seattle Pacific (Jan. 26) and 9.825 bars routine vs. SPU (Jan. 25) tying the 4th- and 5th-best program marks, respectively … Petersen was one of three Seawolves recognized on the MPSF All-Academic Team with a squad-high 3.93 overall grade-point average, and she was the gymnastics team’s nominee for the Bill MacKay UAA Athlete of the Year Award … Petersen graduated on May 5 after completing her bachelor’s degree in management in just three years.
MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS: A great showing on vault was not enough for as the Seawolves finished fourth with 191.850 points at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Seattle on Mar. 23 … the Seawolves were edged for third by longtime rival Air Force, which eked past UAA in the final rotation with a 191.925 total … UC Davis earned its fourth consecutive team title with 194.950 points, while host Seattle Pacific was runner-up with 193.200 … despite the tough finish, the Seawolves had their second-best vault total ever at 48.650, missing the school record by just 0.025 … UAA’s team total of 191.850 tied for 13th-best, giving the 2013 Seawolves six of the top 19 marks in program history … freshman M’rcy Matsunami led UAA with a fourth-place all-around score of 38.575, while sophomore Morgan Cook tied for fifth in the 10-woman field with 38.325 points … Matsunami made her conference-meet debut with top-10 placings on floor exercise (t-6th, 9.775) and vault (10th, 9.75), while Cook tied for sixth on beam (9.7) and vault (career-high 9.775), plus eighth on floor (9.725) … in addition to Cook, three other Seawolves scored career-best vaults as Kayli Davies also had a 9.775, freshman Simone Penker a 9.7 and junior Emily Petersen a 9.65 … UAA had its season-high on floor exercise for the third straight meet, topping out with a 48.100 … freshmen Stefany Bryan (9.625) and Nicole Wetzel (9.5) were both big contributors on that apparatus, each with career-high scores … Petersen had UAA’s best score on uneven bars with an 8th-place 9.675.
TEAM NOTES: UAA’s 192.850 total on Feb. 17 was its best in four years, trailing only the 193.000 against Kentucky (3/15/09) and the school-record of 193.750, set at the 2004 MPSF Championships … with a 191.190 average in 10 meets, the Seawolves crushed the old program record of 189.963 from 2004 — among 17 school records set in the 2013 campaign … UAA also had its best season averages on vault (48.295), bars (47.760) and beam (47.875) … the 2013 Seawolves posted six of the best 19 team scores in program history, with the 192.850 vs EMU ranking third and the 191.950 at Centenary ranking 12th … the 191.675 against Seattle Pacific on Jan. 25 set a program record for the month of January, while the EMU score was the best-ever in February … this year’s squad also has three of the program’s top five scores on both bars and beam to its credit, along with seven of the top 15 scores on vault … UAA’s four dual victories were the program’s most since 2009, while the Seawolves’ 19 individual event victories easily surpassed their 11 from last season.
F’BULOUS FRESHM’N: Freshman M’rcy Matsunami (pronounced “Marcy”) set the school single-season average records for all-around (38.539) and bars (9.686), and finished No. 4 on vault (9.734) … the Omaha, Neb., native was an All-MPSF honoree on vault, floor and all-around, earning top-4 RQS’s on each apparatus … Matsunami earned 10 individual wins, including four straight all-around titles from Jan. 25-Feb. 10 … she was the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week for her Jan. 25-26 performances against Seattle Pacific, with her 38.750 all-around matching the 11th-best score in program history … with vaults of 9.85 and 9.825 vs SPU, she became just the third Seawolf to post at least four career vaults of 9.8 or better, joining Dominique Ingram (’04-05) and Lauren Agostino (’05-06, 07-09) … among other all-time Seawolf top scores, her 9.85 vaults are tied for 7th and her 9.8 bars routine Jan. 26 is tied for 8th … Matsunami’s 9.775 floor exercise at Eastern Michigan was a UAA season-best, while her 38.725 all-around on Feb. 10 vs Centenary tied the No. 16 score in program history … at season’s end, Matsunami became just the 12th Seawolf ever to qualify for the NCAA West Regional Championships, where she competed on vault.
MORE GYMNAST NOTES: Freshman Marie-Sophie Boggasch became just the third Seawolf to post a vault of 9.875 or higher when she hit the mark against EMU on Feb. 17, joining Dominique Ingram (five times, 2004-05) and Lauren Agostino (once, in 2009) … by average, the German is UAA’s 3rd-best scorer on vault (9.614) and bars (9.561) … junior Emily Petersen now has seven career scores of 9.8 or better, doing it five times on beam and twice on bars … the team captain’s 9.825 bars routine Jan. 25 vs SPU tied for the 5th-best mark in program history, while her 9.8 the next night tied for 8th … on beam, her 9.825 on Jan. 26 tied her career-high and the No. 4 mark at UAA … Petersen has six individual event victories this season after posting none in her first two campaigns … with a 9.675 beam average, the Indianapolis native finished No. 2 on UAA’s single-season list, while her 9.650 bars average ranked No. 4 … sophomore Morgan Cook finished with nine straight scores of 9.6-plus on balance beam — hitting a season-high 9.775 against EMU — to put her No. 3 on UAA’s single-season beam average list (9.653) … the Arkansan’s 9.75 vault on Feb. 17 was a career-high, and she was UAA’s top floor exercise worker, averaging 9.560 … with Petersen, Cook, freshman Simone Penker (7th, 9.575) and freshman M’rcy Matsunami (12th, 9.518), the 2013 Seawolves sported four of the top 12 beam averages in program history … with her 38.450 score at Rutgers on Jan. 12, Penker became the first Seawolf freshman since 2007 (Courtney Williams) to win an individual all-around competition … with a career-high-tying 9.75 vs EMU, the Austrian has scored 9.6-plus on six of her last nine beam routines … Penker also matched her personal-best 38.450 all-around in the EMU home meet … freshman Nicole Wetzel was one of UAA’s most consistent floor performers, finishing with five straight scores of 9.4 or better … freshman Kayli Davies scored 9.5-plus on her last seven vaults, including consecutive career-highs of 9.7 at EMU and 9.775 at MPSFs to end the year … sophomore Sariaye Jensen had her best week of the season in Michigan, competing on three events for the first time and scoring between 9.5 to 9.65 on all six of her routines.
SMART SEAWOLVES: Three Seawolves were honored for their classroom success on April 25 when the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation announced its 2013 Women’s Gymnastics All-Academic Team … junior Emily Petersen, a management major from Indianapolis, tied with UC Davis senior Katie Yamamura for the league’s top grade-point average at 3.93, earning the award for the second straight year … meanwhile, Seawolf sophomores Paige Pirie and Sariaye Jensen were first-time honorees … Pirie, a justice major from Newnan, Ga., owns a 3.45 overall GPA in justice, while Jensen, an elementary education major from Las Vegas, has a 3.27 GPA … to be eligible, a student-athlete must carry a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA, be in at least her second season, and compete in at least 50 percent of meets.