SEATTLE – Junior Sophia Hyderally won the balance beam title and senior Kaylin Mancari delivered an outstanding three-event performance in her final meet Saturday to lead the Alaska Anchorage gymnastics team to a school-record 194.200 score and a 4th-place finish at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships at Royal Brougham Pavilion.
The Seawolves also got a boost from sophomore Hope Nelson, whose runner-up 9.875 beam score helped UAA set another program record with a 49.075 points on that apparatus.
Air Force claimed its first MPSF team title with 195.725 points, followed by San Jose State with 195.450 and UC Davis with 195.200. The Seawolves outdistanced Sacramento State (192.425) and host Seattle Pacific (192.400) to equal their best finish at the league meet since 2015.
“Aside from Kaylin, we did not perform up to our capability on floor in the first rotation, so I was extremely impressed with our ladies’ ability to refocus and deliver some great gymnastics after that,” said UAA head coach Tanya Ho, who was named the MPSF Coach of the Year after the meet, as voted by her peers. “Everyone was absolutely clutch in those final two rotations, especially Sophia and Hope on beam. This meet was a microcosm of the way our team stuck together and kept improving all season.”
After a bye in the opening rotation, the Seawolves were able to offset a pair of bobbles on floor exercise with career-best efforts from freshman Rachel Decious, who scored a 9.775 in the second position, and Mancari, who equaled the 5th-best floor score in Seawolf history with a 9.9. Hyderally added a 9.675 and junior Kennedy Green had a 9.525 as UAA finished with 48.075 on floor.
The Seawolves posted an identical team total on vault in their next rotation, led by a 9.75 from freshman Ali Marvel and a season-high 9.7 from sophomore Isabella Scalapino, and stood sixth in the team standings at that point.
Following another bye in the fourth rotation, the Seawolves hit their stride on uneven bars, getting started with a 9.75 from sophomore Isabelle Fox. Green and Nelson flipped to 9.775s in the third and fourth positions, Hyderally earned a career-high 9.825, and junior Mackenzie Miller anchored by tying the 5th-best bars score in program history with a 9.85, as UAA’s 48.975 total trailed only its record-49.075 effort from Feb. 9 against UC Davis on the program’s all-time list.
Looking to clinch the best beam average and RQS (regional qualifying score) in program history, UAA delivered again in the final rotation with a school-record 49.075 score. After getting a 9.775 from Fox and a 9.7 from Mancari to begin, Decious delivered her second career high of the evening with a 9.825. Nelson tied the 5th-best beam score for a Seawolf with 9.875, before Hyderally – the MPSF leader coming into the night – knocked her down one spot on that list with a 9.9.
Hyderally claimed her second MPSF beam title in three seasons, having tied the conference record and set the UAA record with a 9.925 at the 2017 MPSF Championships. The Daphne, Alabama, native now owns five of the top eight beam scores in Seawolf history, with three 9.9s and a 9.875 to her credit as well.
Saturday’s meet concluded the Seawolves’ team competition for 2019, although Hyderally is likely to qualify for the NCAA Regional Championships on Apr. 6 as an individual balance beam competitor. The announcement of those berths will be made early next week.
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