College Notebook: McCartney just misses qualifying for gymnastics nationals

By Kurt Zimmer, Columbian Sports Reporter

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photoUniversity of Washington's Jordin Seekins won the women's javelin at the Pepsi Team Invitational meet held April 6 at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

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photoAnna Adamko, Washington State University track and field

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Being an honorary member of a championship team was nice, but Kalliah McCartney would have rather had more of her teammates with her Saturday.

As an individual all-around competitor at the Corvallis Regional of the NCAA Division I women's gymnastics championships at Oregon State University, the Sacramento State sophomore rotated through the four events with team qualifier Georgia.

"This year was a lot of fun," said the Vancouver resident, a graduate of CAM High School in Battle Ground who also competed at regionals last year in Seattle as a freshman. "This year, I was a lot more confident and relaxed going to regionals. Last year, I was so nervous rotating with Alabama, the defending national champions. It was like, 'Oh, my God.' I was almost a little bit star-struck. This year, Georgia was super nice. I was really comfortable with them and had a really good experience. I had a lot of fun."

McCartney totaled 39.100 points in the four events to tie for third outside of gymnasts from Georgia and Arkansas, the region's two team qualifiers to nationals. The top two advance to nationals, April 19-21 in Los Angeles.

"Of course, in the back of my mind, I wanted to make it to nationals," McCartney said. "But realistically, I just wanted to hit four-for-four and just do the best routines I can do. That's what I hit, and that's what I did, so I'm very proud of myself for doing that. But yeah -- it's a little sad that I didn't make it. I'm happy with my performance."

McCartney tied for 18th in vault with a score of 9.825, tied for 30th in uneven bars (9.675), tied for 26th on balance beam (9.775) and tied for 15th on floor exercise (9.825).

While it was disappointing that the Hornets were not a team qualifier after placing third at the Western Athletic Conference Championships held March 23 in Cedar City, Utah, there were two other Sacramento State gymnasts competing in individual events at Corvallis. They both rotated with California, however, leaving McCartney as an honorary Gym Dog.

"Before the competition, Georgia had their little talk and let me join their group meeting," she said. "They were nice. They incorporated me and included me, which was good."

Vault was a good first event for her, McCartney said, getting her off to a solid start. After a bye in the rotation, came bars and then beam -- the event which concerned her the most after a shaky practice session Friday. Then it was time for her favorite event and an unexpected center of attention.

"I was like, 'OK, all the hard events are over. Now it's time for the fun event,' " she said. "I love ending on floor. It was fun. I was the last person to go, so everyone was watching me. I just let it go and had a blast with it."

McCartney said she felt a little pressure to back up her WAC Freshman of the Year season this year, but she said she handled that.

"I just tried to hit every routine like I know how to do and just focus on doing what I know how to do. I think I did better this year. At least, I was more consistent this year, which I am pleased with."

Seekins, Adamko 1-2 in javelin at UO meet

Jordin Seekins of the University of Washington and Anna Adamko of Washington State University finished 1-2 in the women's javelin competition at the Pepsi Invitational meet Saturday at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.

Seekins, a Washougal High School graduate, won with a personal record of 149 feet, 2 inches.

Adamko, a Columbia River High School graduate, threw 143-4.

The meet included Oregon, UW, WSU and Texas A&M.

A video interview of Adamko is available for viewing at http://tinyurl.com/c733epn online.

Adamko was named WSU’s female student-athlete of the week for her personal record performance March 22 at the Southern California Trojan Invitational in Los Angeles.

A video report on that announcement can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/c4ee87s online.

Suggestions for College Notebook? Contact Kurt Zimmer at 360-735-4563 or kurt.zimmer@columbian.com.