April 11, 2014

Walters Captures All-Around Title, Gymnastics Takes Third in USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Semifinals

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sophomore Diana Walters (Austin, Texas) captured the All-Around crown, classmate Alexandra Chretien (Commerce Township, Mich.) shattered the program record on bars and the Brown gymnastics team placed third (193.775) in the second session of the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships team semifinals at the Pizzitola Sports Center on Friday. The event concludes Brown's season of team competition, but seniors Rebecca Freedman (Plainview, N.Y.) and Michelle Shnayder (Lincolnshire, Ill.) along with freshman Caroline Morant (Chicago, Ill.) will join Chretien in Sunday's event finals.

Brown's 193.775 was the team's third-highest score of the season and the Bears' 49.125 set a new school record, but first-place Texas Woman's (195.375) and second-place Seattle Pacific (194.275) move on to tomorrow's team finals. Temple finished the night in fourth (190.750), while Air Force (193.800) and Bridgeport (193.625) move to the finals from today's first session.

Walters' all-around championship was her second of the season after claiming the Ivy Classic all-around title and Brown's third of the year following Morant's all-around performance at the ECAC Championships. Walters posted a 9.65 on beam to start and then rattled off three straight 9.75 scores on floor, vault and bars.

Chretien's record-setting performance ignited an inspired Brown showing on bars to earn the second-highest team score of the meet (49.125), second only to a 49.325 by Texas Woman's on bars. Morant also secured a first-place finish on floor for the Bears, leaping to a 9.875.

Brown opened on beam and stayed strong despite a team-low 47.85. Morant's 9.75 was good for third place and Walters grabbed seventh at 9.650. Morant helped the Bears rebound with a first-place 9.875 on floor and Shnayder followed up in third place with a solid 9.8. Walters tied for fifth at 9.75, helping Brown earn a 48.725 team score.

Moving on to vault, Freedman captured second place with a 9.8 to tie her own season high score and Walters finished fourth with a 9.75. Shnayder was close behind in eighth with a 9.725, lifting the Bears to a 48.075 team tally.

Needing to finish strong on bars for a shot at a top-two position, the Bears unleashed a superb effort, led by Chretien's school-record 9.9 to put her in second place. Chretien's score was the second-highest of the entire competition in any event, trailing only Brittany Johnson of Texas Woman's and Maria Hundley of Seattle Pacific, who tied for first on bars at 9.925. Three Bears shared a tie for seventh place with 9.825 marks: Morant, Shnayder and freshman Jorden Mitchell (Indianapolis, Ind.). Mitchell's bar score smashed her previous career-high of 9.775. However, Brown's 49.125 left the squad just shy of second place as the Bears trailed Seattle Pacific by half a point.

Shnayder finished third in the all-around (38.725) and Morant placed sixth (39.575) in the strong field of all-arounders over two sessions.

Brown's four event finals qualifiers will be back in action on Sunday with the first rotation beginning at 1 p.m.