Morant, Walters Lead Gymnastics on Day One of USAG Nationals

Morant, Walters Lead Gymnastics on Day One of USAG Nationals

PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore Caroline Morant finished in the top three on beam and floor, and junior Diana Walters tied for first on floor to lead Brown University gymnastics at team preliminary session one of the 2015 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships at the University of Pennsylvania's Palestra on Friday afternoon.

Morant (Chicago, Ill.), Walters (Austin, Texas), and freshman Regan Butchness (Barrington, Ill.) will compete at the event finals on Sunday at 1 p.m. after recording top-five finishes in the preliminaries. Morant and Butchness will take part in beam while Morant and Walters will compete on floor. All student-athletes who reach the event finals earn First Team USAG All-America honors.

The season concludes for Brown as a team as the Bears scored a 191.900 to come in third in the session. First-place Lindenwood University (194.050) and second-place Texas Woman's University (193.975) advance to Saturday night's team finals. Brown finished ahead of Air Force (190.400).

As a team the Bears scored a 47.950 on bars, a 48.075 on beam, a 47.900 on floor, and a 47.975 on vault. Brown made its third straight trip to USAGs as a team after qualifying for the championships for the first time in program history in 2013.

In the all-around standings, Morant placed second in the session with a 38.850, just shy of her season high of 38.875. Sophomore Jorden Mitchell (Indianapolis, Ind.) came in fourth with a 38.475, and Walters, the USAG all-around champion in 2014, posted a 37.900. Between the two sessions, the top eight all-around performers earn First Team All-America while the ninth and 10th placers gain second team accolades.

The Bears began on bars with junior Alexandra Chretien (Commerce Township, Mich.) pacing the team with a 9.700, finishing ninth. Mitchell followed with a 9.650, and Morant scored a 9.575. Freshmen Claire Ryan (Greenwood, Minn.) and Maggie McAvoy (Charlotte, N.C.) registered a 9.525 and a 9.500 respectively.

Moving to beam, Morant posted the team's top score, a 9.750, to come in third while Butchness placed fifth with a 9.700. Mitchell and Walters each posted a 9.550, and Ryan scored a 9.525.

On floor, Walters tied for first in the session with a score of 9.850, and Morant came in a tie for third with a 9.825. Freshman Anya Olson (Farmington Hills, Mich.) supported the duo with a 9.650, Mitchell notched a 9.550, and senior Danielle Hoffman (Bedford, N.Y.) scored a 9.025.

Concluding on vault, Walters led the way with a 9.775 for sixth, and Mitchell tallied a 9.725 to tie for seventh. Morant scored a 9.700, Williams posted a 9.400, and Olson notched a 9.375.

Any Bears who qualify as alternates for event finals will also garner All-America laurels as any student-athlete who qualifies as an alternate but does not compete gains Second Team USAG All-America honors.

Last year, Walters earned first team in the all-around and second team on floor, Morant gained first team in the all around, on beam, and on floor, and Chretien garnered first team on bars.