McCartney places ninth in gymnastics NCAA Championships

State Hornet Staff

Junior gymnast Kalliah McCartney became the first ever gymnast to represent Sacramento State on a national level at the NCAA Championships, Friday afternoon in Birmingham, Ala.

After placing sixth in the all-around at the Seattle Regional on April 5, McCartney clinched her spot as the solo Hornet going to NCAA Championships.

McCartney would compete in the all-around again on Friday, placing ninth of 20 with a score of 38.950.

McCartney started on floor and put up a score of 9.825, but that was only good enough for a 28th-place tie.

Vault, bars and beam followed, with McCartney finishing with respective scores of 9.750, 9.700 and 9.675 to round out her afternoon.

Sac State head coach Kim Hughes said he was proud of McCartney for making it to nationals, citing her perserverence throughout the season.

“I think she did an outstanding job of representing herself and the school,” Hughes said. “This was a tough season for her. She started out with a shoulder injury which kind of limited her movement, but she got it all together at regionals.”

After the beam event, in which McCartney had a slight wobble on the finish, Hughes could tell that McCartney was not pleased with her score.

“She was disappointed because beam was her last event, and she had gotten an exceptional score at regionals,” Hughes said. “I think she showed the look of disappointment because beam is her most consistent event.”

She was 0.6 behind Michigan’s Joanna Sampson, who finished the competition at the top of the leaderboard with a score of 39.550.

The competition capped off a successful season for McCartney in which she was the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion on vault and was a key reason in Sac State’s MPSF title run.

Hughes said he was very pleased with the way McCartney finished her season, especially with her performance at nationals.

“She performed against the highest level of collegiate gymnasts, and she performed without being overly nervous or pumped up,” Hughes said. “I was really proud of her for doing that. Overall, she was happy and excited with her performance.”