Gymnastics finishes season at USAG Nationals

Olson ’18 earns All-American honors, Mitchell ’17 garners first-team award in all-around

Staff Writer
Sunday, April 9, 2017

After narrowly missing out on a victory at the ECAC Championships March 18, the gymnastics team traveled to Seattle Pacific University to compete in the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships for the fifth consecutive year. The team finished as one of the top eight teams in its region and therefore qualified for the competition. The Bears began competition Friday night during the second preliminary session but did not advance to the team final competition, finishing outside the top two with a score of 192.225.

The fifth place preliminary finish concluded the Bears’ season as a team, but Anya Olson ’18 qualified to Sunday’s individual event finals on the uneven bars, where she finished tied for second and earned her first career First Team USAG All-American honors. Jorden Mitchell ’17 earned a spot in the vault and balance beam finals but was not able to compete due to injury. Mitchell also tallied a 38.825 to place fifth overall in the all-around competition, earning first-team honors. She finished her tenure at Brown with six USAG All-American honors, including three in the all-around.

The Bears opened preliminary competition on vault, where Julia Green ’19 scored 9.725 to tie a personal best. Mitchell anchored the rotation by matching her season-high 9.775 and finishing seventh overall.

A second-rotation bye resulted in a brief break from competition before Bruno took to the uneven bars. Claire Ryan ’18 notched a 9.750, and Olson logged a 9.775. Caroline Morant ’17 made her only appearance of the night on bars and matched Ryan’s score to conclude her Brown gymnastics career. Morant previously qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships last weekend but was scratched due to injury.

“Halfway through (the competition), we were pleased and ready to go on to beam,” Mitchell said. “Everyone’s attitude the whole time was good, and we were all having fun.”

Bruno looked poised to nab a berth in the team finals after two events, but four falls on balance beam took a toll on the team score. Ryan posted a 9.675 to tie a season-high, and Mitchell scored 9.775, tying for third overall.

“The meet’s not over until it’s over,” Mitchell said. “Anything can happen, so we put it behind us. We went out there, had fun and showed off on floor.”

Brown finished strong on floor exercise as Maggie McAvoy ’18 opened the final rotation with a personal best 9.750. Olson and Anne Christman ’20 followed with a pair of 9.700s, and Brooke Williams ’17 scored a 9.625 in her first performance of the season.

“At the end of the meet, all the seniors did a huddle, and we all started crying,” Mitchell said. “The seniors will definitely miss it, but we couldn’t be prouder of our team.”

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