While they wish that they were bringing all of their teammates along with them, Alyssa Click and Kalliah McCartney both earned spots in NCAA regional gymnastics competitions with strong performances at the Western Athletic Conference championships Saturday.
Click, a Skyview High School graduate and junior at Southern Utah University, claimed a second consecuive WAC title on uneven barsh.
Vancouver’s McCartney, a graduate of CAM High School in Battle Ground, was honored as WAC Freshman of the Year after placing third in the all-around for Sacramento State.
While neither the Thunderbirds nor the Hornets claimed a team berth to regionals, the Vancouver gymnasts were named as at-large qualifiers to separate regionals.
Despite her bars title, Click will compete in balance beam at the Salt Lake City Regional, and is an alternate on bars. McCartney will compete in the all-around at the Seattle Regional. Both regionals are April 7.
Sacramento State ended up posting the second-highest meet team score in program history at the WAC championships in Logan, Utah, and pushed nationally-ranked University of Denver but fell short by a margin of 196.350-195.675. Southern Utah was third at 195.025, followed by San Jose State and Utah State.
McCartney said she had some nerves leading up to the meet started because despite all of her experience in top-level competitions, she was still a freshman at her first collegiate conference championships.
Once in the arena, however, something changed.
“When I got to the meet, having my teammates there to support me and encourage me, I got calmed down and I wasn’t very nervous at all,” she said. “I just said, ‘It’s my time to shine. I want to have fun. I want my team to do well, and I want to perform for my team. I’m very proud of myself, and I’m so proud of my team.”
McCartney tied Click for second in bars at 9.900 and was third in vault at 9.875. She also tied for ninth in floor exercise (9.25) and tied for 15th in beam (9.750) for an all-around score of 39.350. WAC Gymnast of the Year Thomasina Wallace scored 39.400 to win the all-around.
McCartney said that bars is her weakest event and she was a bit disappointed with that score from the judges. Sac State’s scores were held down a bit on floor, she said, because it was the team’s first event in the rotation and judges tend to score conservatively early in a competition. But she was excited about sticking her vault and performing well on beam, her strongest event.
As for the Freshman of the Year award, McCartney said her thinking was, “I didn’t want to get my hopes up and be all cocky. If it works out and I get it, that will be great. Thankfully, I got it, which I’m really happy about.”
Click, the WAC Freshman of the Year in 2009-10, won the bars title with a score of 9.925. She was also tied for 27th in floor at 9.700.
“For myself, I’m really proud of how I did, especially on bars but also on beam,” Click said. “As a team, we could have done better.”
Click has been competing with pain in her left foot for several weeks, although she said: “It’s mostly OK. It still hurts a bunch, but I just get it taped up and I’m good to go.”
She described her mindset for her regional event.
“When I’m on the beam, I’m pretty confident. It’s the most relaxing event for me, I guess,” Click said. “I try not to think about how I’m doing. I’m just thinking of each skill as I’m doing it. The nerves set in right before I actually get on the beam, and then I have to calm down once I mount the beam. If I get ahead of myself, that always causes problems. I have to stay in the moment.”
Both gymnasts have reason to be happy about where they are going for regionals.
Click will be competing at the University of Utah -- about 250 miles from SUU’s campus. Competing at the University of Washington, McCartney will be even closer to her hometown. Both expect friends and families to be there supporting them as they seek to qualify for the NCAA championships, April 20-22 in suburban Atlanta.
Southern California’s Corral First Team All-Pac-12
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Southern California senior guard Ashley Corral was named to the All-Pacific-12 Conference Team for women’s basketball.
The Prairie High School graduate was also selected to participate in the 3-point shooting contest Thursday in New Orleans, in conjunction with the men’s NCAA Final Four.
Corral was named to the previous All-Pac-10 Team each of the past two seasons, after being named to the Honorable Mention All-Freshman team her first season with the Women of Troy.
Corral averaged 11.7 points a game as a senior, leading the Pac-12 with 69 3-pointers and her team with 96 assists. Her .803 free-throw shooting percentage (61 of 76) was third in the Pac-12 (at least 2.0 attempts a game).
Corral made 292 3-pointers in her USC career, with three of the four highest single-season totals in program history. She is tied for third in program history with 466 assists.
Northwest U. honors DeLapp as top female
Northwest University senior Paige DeLapp was named the schools’ female athlete of the year Friday.
The Evergreen High School graduate was an individual qualifier for the NAIA cross country national championships. She was an automatic qualifier for the NAIA indoor track and field championships in 2011 in the 1,000-meter run and the distance medley relay. She won the 800 in the outoor Spike Arlt Meet in Ellensburg.
Thomas betters her own Gonzaga record
Gonzaga University sophomore Emily Thomas broke her own school record in the 5,000-meter run at Whitworth University on Saturday. The Camas High School graduate’s time was 16 minutes, 57.80 seconds.
“Emily was spectacular,” Gonzaga coach Pat Tyson told gozags.com. “She crushed her record by 18 seconds.”
Thomas also holds the Gonzaga record in the 10,000 meters, and missed the school record in the 1,500 by a half-second in a meet last Monday.
Linfield’s Doucette named D-III softball player of week
Linfield College senior Staci Doucette was named national player of the week for NCAA Division III softball by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. The Evergreen High School graduate, who plays first base, was also named player of the week by the Northwest Conference.
In six games last week during the team’s spring break trip to California, Doucette hit .647 (11 for 17) with four home runs, one double, eight RBI and 24 total bases. She leads Division III with 12 home runs.
Arn, Turner reach GFU heptathlon Top 10
George Fox University heptathletes Charity Arn and Alyssa Turner placed second and fifth, respectively, at the Point Loma Nazarene University Collegiate Open meet Thursday and Friday at San Diego.
Arn, a GFU freshman and Woodland High School graduate, totaled 4,248 points. Turner, a Bruins junior and graduate of Hudson’s Bay High School, had 4,147 points.
Their totals place them sixth and ninth, respectively, in school history.
Arn tied for first in the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches), took third in the long jump (16-4) and javelin (112-2), placed fourth in the 800-meter run (2 minutes, 27.69 seconds), and was fifth in the shot put (28-11).
Turner won the 800 (2:22.29), was second in the 100 hurdles (15.31), third in the 200 (26.41), and came in fifth in the long jump (15-8).
Dunn, Walter among NWAACC South stars
Clackamas Community College sophomores Taylor Dunn and Paul Walter were named to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Southern Region All-Star First Team.
Dunn (Mountain View High School) led the team and was seventh in the NWAACC in scoring.
Walter (Skyview High) averaged 13.1 points and 7.2 rebounds a game with 73 assists and 14 blocks. He was a South Region all-freshman selection last year, and a was selected to the NWAACC Sophomore All-Academic Team.
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