Coach John Lavallee won’t forget this year.
An Aggie trio consisting of seniors Lida Gehlen and Tanya Ho, along with freshman Katie Yamamura finished the 2010 campaign as individual qualifiers at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional gymnastics meet Saturday.
Ho and Yamamura each earned regional berths as all-around competitors, and Gehlen won the at-large bid on uneven parallel bars.
In her second career appearance at the regional meet, Gehlen tied for sixteenth on bars with a 9.775 mark.
“Lida had a very solid bar routine,” Lavallee said. “She did exactly what she needed to do, and 16th is not bad at all for an individual competitor.”
Ho’s appearance marked her third regional meet in her four-year career.
“Tanya had a fall on floor [8.650],” Lavallee said. “That was a little disappointing, but she had a good solid vault [9.575], a good bar routine [9.625], and a very good beam routine [9.625]. She finished out a really amazing career with everything she’s been able to accomplish. We’re very happy with the way she performed.”
Ho finished with a total of 37.475, which was good for the 16th spot in the all-around – two spots behind Yamamura.
Yamamura’s 9.850 mark on vault landed her in a tie for eighth overall as she tied her personal best score in the event. She also scored a 9.575 on bars, a 9.225 on beam, a 9.725 on floor and a total of 38.375 in the all-around.
“Yami has had an outstanding year,” Lavallee said. “She’s been an amazingly steady performer, particularly for coming in and doing it as a freshman.”
The rookie’s vault score was just one-tenth of a point behind UCLA’s Anna Li at 9.950.
This was the same Bruin that scored a perfect 10 on bars.
“I saw that ten routine and it was stunning,” Lavallee said. “The competition was spectacular and very strong universities were represented at this regional.”
UCLA won the meet with a final tally of 197.825. They were followed by Arkansas with a 196.675 total and Arizona with 195.100 points.
Overall, the team of three Aggies capped off a successful campaign.
“It will be a memorable season,” Lavallee said. “It was great to be in the race to qualify [as a team] for the regional. It was a huge step forward for the program and it gave us a taste of what we’re capable of doing in the future.”
GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at email@example.com.