CLEVELAND – Junior All-American Jaime Pisani highlighted Arkansas’ final day at the NCAA Gymnastics Championship by tying for fifth on floor in the individual event finals in the Wolstein Center for one of two top 10 finishes for the Razorbacks.
Three Razorbacks advanced to Sunday’s finals with freshman Katherine Grable joining Pisani on floor and sophomore Amy Borsellino competing on vault.
Grable also had a top 10 finish by tying for ninth on floor while Borsellino finished 15th in the country on vault.
"I thought they were outstanding," co-head coach Renè Cook said. "Jaime was pretty flawless, but it’s tough when you go third in the lineup in the finals. Kat needs a little more maturity to compete with all those upperclassmen, but she did a great job. It was exciting to have them out there."
Pisani went third in the first rotation on floor and scored a 9.8875. She was in first through the first three competitors, but the fourth, Gerelen Stack-Eaton of Alabama, scored a 9.9375 and was the eventual winner. Pisani tied Florida’s Alaina Johnson.
"I was excited," Pisani said. "It was my goal for the year to compete for a national championship. I think my last pass could have been better, but I gave it my best and that’s all I can ask."
Pisani’s 9.8875 is the third-best score for the Razorbacks in any event in the NCAA finals. Sarah Nagashima had a 9.90 on beam in 2009 and Casey Jo Magee a 9.90 on bars last year. Nagashima tied for third and Magee tied for fifth.
Grable was the last of 12 competitors on floor and closed the competition for the day. She scored a 9.85 to tie for ninth with Florida’s Marissa King.
"I think I did a good job," Grable said. "I was just happy to be I the finals."
In the vault competition, each of the 16 competitors were judged on two vaults for an average score. Borsellino was sixth in the rotation and recorded a 9.8735 on her first attempt. On her second, she stumbled on the landing and had a 9.5141 for an average of 9.6938. She finished 15th in the nation.
"I don’t think anybody expected me to be here today," Borsellino said. "It was really exciting to be competing in this scenario."
Florida’s King won the vault title with a 9.875.
Pisani’s tie for fifth ties for the fourth-best finish ever for a Razorback in the event finals.
In addition to Sunday’s results, Pisani finished tied for seventh in the nation in the all-around with a 39.35. The all-around is based on results from Friday’s two semifinal sessions.
The three Razorbacks in the event finals tied the school record for the most individuals in one NCAA final. In 2009, Alex LaChance was ninth on beam, Sarah Nagashima tied for third on beam, and Michelle Stout was fifth on vault and tied for seventh on bars.
The trio of Razorbacks qualified for the event finals with their performances in Friday’s NCAA Session I Semifinal. Arkansas’ three appearances in the event finals tied for eighth-most in the country.
In the combined results of the semifinals, Borsellino tied for fifth on vault with a 9.90, which tied for third in Arkansas’ session. Pisani won the session floor title for the second straight year and had the best overall score for the day with a 9.95, tying the school record she already shared. Grable had a 9.90 to tie for sixth overall, which tied for fourth in Arkansas’ semifinal session.
Arkansas completed its team competition on Friday by tying for fourth in its semifinal. The top three teams from the two semifinals advanced to Saturday’s Super Six. Arkansas missed advancing by one spot.
The tie for fourth in the semifinals is Arkansas’ second-best finish ever in the NCAA Championship. The Razorbacks finished second in the Session II semifinal in 2009 to advance to the Super Six where they finished fifth in the nation.
Arkansas’ five NCAA Championship appearances have all come in the last six years and already rank 18th in the nation. Over the nine-year period Arkansas’ program has existed, since 2003, Arkansas’ five appearances rank 12th in the country. The Razorbacks have earned a spot in an NCAA Regional eight straight years, every year of the program except the first.
Eight different Razorbacks have now combined for 13 appearances in the NCAA Individual Event Finals, all in the last four years with 12 of the appearances in the last three years.
NCAA Gymnastics Individual Event FinalsSunday, April 17, 2011Wolstein CenterCleveland, Ohio
Vault:Amy Borsellino, 9.8735-9.5141, 9.6938, 15th
Floor:Jaime Pisani, 9.8875, T-5thKatherine Grable, 9.85, T-9th
All-Around (from both of Friday’s NCAA Semifinal Sessions):Jaime Pisani, 39.35, T-7th
Arkansas’ Previous NCAA Individual Event Finals Results:
2008: Michelle Stout, 4th on vault (9.80)
2009:Alex LaChance, 9th on beam (9.825)Sarah Nagashima, T-3rd on beam (9.90)Michelle Stout, 5th on vault (9.8375)Michelle Stout, T-7th on bars (9.8625)
2010:Casey Jo Magee, 2nd in the all-around (39.55)Casey Jo Magee, 4th on beam (9.875)Casey Jo Magee, T-5th on bars (9.90)Casey Jo Magee, 12th on floor (9.8125)Jaime Pisani, 10th on floor (9.85)Jaime Pisani, T-12th on vault (9.7188)
Download: ncaa finals, Event Results.pdf