CORVALLIS, Ore. – Alaska Anchorage gymnast Sophia Hyderally made an impressive NCAA Championships debut Friday, scoring a 9.9 on balance beam as an individual competitor at the NCAA Corvallis Regional meet at Gill Coliseum.
The junior from Daphne, Alabama, narrowly missed a chance to compete at the final round of the NCAA Championships in two weeks, tying for fourth place among the 56 gymnasts in Friday’s two sessions. Despite that, Hyderally’s score was the highest ever for a Seawolf gymnast at an NCAA regional competition and equaled the second-best beam score in program history for the fourth time this season. It was also 10 spots higher than a Seawolf had ever placed at an NCAA Regional competition.
The two-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion on beam, Hyderally placed behind Florida’s Alicia Boren and Denver’s Alexis Vasquez atop the podium with 9.95s, while Oregon State’s Maela Lazaro was third with a 9.925. Three Oregon State gymnasts, two from Florida, two from Denver and Boise State’s Alex Esmerian also tied for fourth with 9.9s.
“Sophia showed again what a big-time performer she has become this year,” said UAA head coach Tanya Ho. “She could have had nerves with it being her first time on this stage, and she didn’t show any. She was in a reasonable position to advance after the early session, so it’s a little bittersweet that she didn’t quite make it to nationals, but I also couldn’t be any happier about how well she performed and represented our program today.”
The top gymnasts on each apparatus among non-advancing teams earn individual berths to the NCAA Championships, Apr. 19-20 in Fort Worth, Texas.
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