March 25, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Seniors Katie Yamamura and Michelle Ho, plus junior Anna Shumaker, will represent UC Davis women's gymnastics as individual at-large qualifiers to the NCAA Corvallis Regional, hosted by Oregon State on April 6. Yamamura and Shumaker both earned spots as all-arounders while Ho claimed the West's at-large berth on floor exercise.
This is the third NCAA postseason appearance for Yamamura, the second for Shumaker and the first for Ho. Additionally, 2013 marks the third straight year the Aggies have qualified multiple student-athletes to a region championship.
The top 36 teams, ranked by regional-qualifying score, advance to one of the six region meets. After that, the top five all-arounders not on one of the qualifying teams advance as at-large competitors. Then the region's top gymnast on each event, excluding those on qualyfing teams or among the top five all-arounders, advance as at-large event specialists.
UC Davis missed the cut to reach the NCAA regional as a team, finishing 42nd nationally with a school-record RQS of 194.780. The top 36 teams are distributed among six regionals in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Norman, Okla., Columbus, Ohio, Gainesville, Fla., Morgantown, W. Va and Corvallis. The 1998 Aggies remain the only UC Davis women's gymnastics team to compete at the regionals as an entire program; in that era, selection was based on regional ranking rather than national.
Yamamura, who competed at the 2010 and 2012 regionals, ranked eighth in the West Region with a 39.065 RQS, another UC Davis benchmark. She won her second straight Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Year award, while claiming all-conference honors in all five categories (each of four events plus the all-around). The Palo Alto, Calif. native 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 in a close second to Yamamura at Saturday's MPSF Championships with a 39.025 total. Shumaker, of Alameda, Calif., made her first NCAA postseason appearance as the at-large vault qualifier to the 2011 NCAA Corvallis Regional.
Ho, who hails from Los Altos, Calif., finished seventh in the West on floor exercise with a 9.900 RQS. 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 Aggie to break the 9.900 threshold on floor since Tiffany Chan tied the school benchmark of 9.950 back in 2004.
The UC Davis trio will compete alongside No. 4 Georgia, No. 10 Oregon State, No. 16 Arkansas, No. 21 Boise State, No. 28 Arizona State and No. 32 California. The remaining all-around qualifiers are Kalliah McCartney of Sacramento State and Bekah Gher and Cassandra Harrison of San Jose State. The at-large event qualifiers are Alaska Anchorage's M'rcy Matsunami on vault, Sac State's Nicole Meiller on bars, and Sac State's Kailey Hansen on beam.
UC Davis won its fourth consecutive MPSF team title on Saturday, scoring a 194.950.