Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

After fourth straight MPSF title, three Aggie gymnasts headed to regionals

UCD's Katie Yamamura, who recently won her second consecutive MPSF Gymnast of Year award, is one of three Aggies — along with classmate Michelle Ho and junior Anna Shumaker — who are headed to the NCAA Regionals. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

When the UC Davis women posted a 194.950 team score at Saturday night’s Mountain Pacific Sports Federation gymnastics championships — the second-best meet total in program history — it was good enough to capture their fourth consecutive conference crown and the Aggies’ fifth title in six years.

That score put UCD just outside the range to qualify for NCAA Regionals as a team, but three individuals — seniors Katie Yamamura and Michelle Ho, along with junior Anna Shumaker — will represent the Aggies as at-large qualifiers. Yamamura and Shumaker both earned spots as all-arounders, while Ho claimed the West’s at-large berth on floor exercise to compete at the Corvallis Regional, hosted by Oregon State on April 6.

This is the third NCAA postseason appearance for Yamamura, the second for Shumaker and the first for Ho. Additionally, this is the third consecutive year UCD has qualified multiple student-athletes to a region championship.

On Saturday, Ho’s three individual championships and Yamamura and Shumaker’s 1-2 finish in the all-around helped the Aggies win the MPSF championship at Seattle Pacific’s Royal Brougham Pavilion.

UCD’s 194.950 was well ahead of second-place SPU (193.200), Air Force and Alaska Anchorage.

That same night, Yamamura captured her second straight MPSF Gymnast of the Year award, John Lavallee won his fifth Coach of the Year honor and Carolyn Kampf was Assistant Coach of the Year for her work with the Aggies’ floor exercise.

At the championship meet, sophomore Tiana Montell was another multiple winner for UCD, standing fifth on vault at 9.765 and seventh on beam with a 9.690. Junior Madeline Kennedy (vault), sophomore Lisa Wiktorski (bars), freshman Stephanie Stamates (floor) and sophomore Kala DeFrancesco (floor) also picked up all-conference certificates.

Yamamura, who competed at the 2010 and 2012 regionals, ranked eighth in the West Region with a 39.065, another UCD benchmark. She has scored 39 or better in four meets this season, including a school-record 39.325 in home meets on March 1 and 15.

Shumaker snared the fifth at-large spot on all-around, thanks to a strong finish to the season. She posted a career-high 39.050 at San Jose State on March 8, followed with a 39.000 in the Aggies’ home finale, then finished a close second to Yamamura at Saturday’s MPSF Championships with a 39.025.

Ho finished seventh in the West on floor exercise with a 9.900. She captured individual MPSF championships on uneven bars and floor while adding a share of the balance beam title at Saturday’s conference meet. Ho has scored 9.900 or better on floor five times this season, including a career-best 9.925 in home dual meets with California and San Jose State. In doing so, she became the first UCD gymnast to break the 9.900 threshold on floor since Tiffany Chan tied the school record of 9.950 back in 2004.

Enterprise staff

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