The No. 20 NC State gymnastics team scored a 196.05 on Saturday, placing third in the Raleigh NCAA Regional Championship and scoring the the most points at a regional in NC State history.
The Wolfpack fell 1.475 points short of second place, which would have qualified the team for NCAA Nationals.
Senior Chelsea Knight was extremely proud of the Wolfpack’s historic regional performance.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Knight said. “It speaks for itself and all the work we have put in.”
While the Pack did nor place a member in the top seven in any of the four events, the team still set a program record with its regional team score.
Knight led the Wolfpack in the all-around performance with a 39.250 while sophomore Drew Grantham was right behind her, scoring a 39.200.
The Pack’s strongest performance was on vault, where it scored the third-highest score of the season 49.175. Grantham, Knight and senior Mackenzie Ictush (career-high) all scored a 9.850. Junior Paris Phillips scored a 9.825 and juniors Alexa Phillips and Caitlyn Fillard each scored a 9.800.
NC State had an equally strong floor performance, scoring a 49.150, although the Pack’s opponents had strong performances in the event as well, nudging the Pack to fourth place. Grantham, Ictush, Knight and Phillips all scored a 9.850, while sophomore Alexis Beucler notched a 9.750 to round out the Wolfpack’s qualifying scores.
The Pack placed fifth out of six teams with a score of 48.925 on the bars, but had several competitors hit impressive marks. Knight, freshman Lauren Kent and junior Maggie Tamburro led the team with scores of 9.800. Fillard and senior Nicole Wild rounded out the qualifiers, with scores of 9.775 and 9.750, respectively.
The balance beam proved to be the toughest event for the Pack, as it posted a 48.800, its sixth-lowest of the season. Wild was the only person to reach 9.8 or higher for the Pack in the event, scoring a 9.825. Grantham scored a 9.775, Knight a 9.75 and Beucler and freshman Kasey Nelson each posted a score of 9.725.
NC State head coach Kim Landrus felt that her squad performed to the best of its ability.
“I think the girls just went out and did us,” Landrus said. “We went out and hit four for four events and that was great.”
Ictush, Phillips, Grantham and Knight all tied for eighth place in the individual floor exercise results. Ictush, Grantham and Knight all also tied for eighth on vault results.
No member of the Wolfpack was able to finish in the top three in any of the events, meaning the Wolfpack will not be sending any individuals to NCAA Nationals.
Finishing third in a regional that featured five top 20 teams, including No. 2 LSU, put an emphatic bow on a Wolfpack season that shattered preseason expectations. Landrus voiced her pride in the Wolfpack’s performance this season, citing a trust of the process as a reason why.
“I’m super proud [of the team’s accomplishments]”, Landrus said. “They trusted the process every step of the way. I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Wolfpack started off the season outside of the Preseason Coaches Poll Top 36, and finished the season ranked No. 20 in the country and just over a point shy of advancing further in the tournament.
Although she will be graduating this year, Knight expressed a pride in this season being a stepping stone for future Wolfpack Gymnastics teams.
“[Our accomplishments] are just a building block for the next generation of girls to come in here next year and do even better,” Knight said.