Hornets send three to NCAAs

Marshall Hampson

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Three Sacramento State gymnasts will advance to Saturday’s 2010 NCAA West Regional in Los Angeles.

Cayla Boyce, Eryn Stubblefield and Nicole Meiller will represent Sac State on beam, all-around and vault, respectively, at the West Regional.

Six nationally ranked teams, five all-around competitors and one specialist from each event will compete at the West Regional.

Third-ranked UCLA was among the six ranked teams to make the West Regional, along with the University of Arkansas, Iowa State University, University of Arizona, Brigham Young University and Arizona State University.

Despite the Hornets finishing sixth at the Western Athletic Conference championships, Stubblefield scored a 38.150 in the all-around for her last team meet as a senior.

As Stubblefield looks ahead to her fourth-straight regional appearance, she said she wants to perform well in all events.

“At WAC, I did well on three of the four events and regionals gives me another opportunity to do well,” Stubblefield said. “I will carry the momentum from the three events I did well on at WAC and start fresh from the one event (floor) that I did not.”

Stubblefield fell on her first rotation but managed to get season-best scores on the uneven bars (9.800) and the vault (9.825) to advance her to the West Regional.

Another strong vault performance came from freshman Nicole Meiller. Meiller earned her career-best mark of 9.825 to earn a spot at the regionals.

The night returning home from the WAC Championships, Meiller said she received a text message from a teammate saying she had a shot at making regionals after her performance.

“My coach called me and said I was first alternate and so I was super excited because that’s a big deal,” Meiller said. “Then later that day he called me back saying that I made it and that I was going not as an alternate.”

Meiller said she has high expectations to better her score when she heads to Regionals.

“I know the teams that are going to be there are really good teams,” Meiller said. “My goal is to score better than what I did at the last meet and I would love to stick my vault and do better than I have all season.”

After winning the beam title at the WAC Championships with a score of 9.875, sophomore Boyce was the third member of the Sac State team to make regionals.

“When I get there I have to not hold back and not be afraid,” Boyce said. “I want to just go up with confidence, do my thing, put it all on the line and know that I have no regrets whether I win or lose.”

Assistant coach Jamie Donkin said she is working to get the three ready for the event.

“We want to keep them focused in the gym,” Donkin said. “It’s a little bit harder when you’re going as an individual. It’s our job as coaches to remind them what they are doing, who they are representing and that they deserve to be there.”

Marshall Hampson can be reached at mhampson@statehornet.com