PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Four members of the Ursinus College gymnastics team qualified for the NCGA individual championships as the Bears placed fifth at the East Regional Championship on Saturday.
Seniors Amanda Palladino and Alexandra Puryear joined sophomore Eleanor LaFountain in collecting all-region honors and will be joined by senior Heather Brubaker at the individual competition on March 23 and 24 at Springfield College.
Ursinus finished with a team total of 188.400, its highest of the season. Ithaca won the team title with a 191.475, while Cortland (190.300) and Brockport (190.225) also punching their tickets to the national championship.
LaFountain and Puryear each placed high enough to earn an automatic qualifier to the individual championships, while Brubaker and Palladino did so on the basis of their season-average score in their respective events.
Puryear was terrific in the all-around competition, notching a career-best 38.325 to land just a tenth of a point behind Brockport's Candis Kowalik for the regional title. Her best score came on the floor, where was 9.625 was tied for 14th overall. Puryear scored 9.600 on the vault (tied for ninth), 9.575 on the beam (tied for ninth), and 9.525 on the bars (tied for sixth).
Puryear is an NCGA all-around qualifier for the second consecutive season. She placed ninth at last year's championship meet to collect her first All-America honor.
LaFountain finished just out of the top spot on the floor, garnering a personal-best 9.800 to tie for second behind only Ithaca's Victoria Gery at 9.825. The sophomore is a first-time NCGA individual qualifier after a standout season that saw her post a season-average score of 9.7625 entering Saturday's meet.
Palladino will compete on both the bars and beam at nationals, thanks to an SAS of 9.6875 that ranked sixth in the East Region on beam and a third-place 9.6313 on the bars.
Palladino finished tied for sixth with a 9.625 on the beam at regionals. She is a three-time national qualifier in the event and finished second at the national championship two years ago. Palladino will compete on bars for the first time.
Brubaker's SAS of 9.575 on vault was enough to qualify her for nationals on the event for the second time in her career. She tied for 12th at regionals with an even 9.600.
Brubaker finished fourth in the all-around competition at 37.325, and will join Puryear at the all-around championship for the first time in her career. She tied for 16th overall with a 9.600 on the floor and placed 10th on the bars with a 9.475.
Junior Lindsay Rush was a standout on vault, finishing tied for ninth with a 9.625 to edge Brubaker and Puryear. LaFountain's 9.575 was a career best and good for a tie for 16th, and freshman Alex Lacey matched a personal best at 9.475.
The Bears had three top-10 finishers on the balance beam, led by Palladino's 9.625. Sophomore Skylar Haas earned a 9.600 for eight place, and Puryear tied for ninth.
Ursinus was strongest on the floor, finishing with a 47.900 team total. In addition to LaFountain's brilliance, Puryear (9.625) and Brubaker (9.600) were also standouts. Tusavitz posted a 9.450 and Lacey added a 9.425.