On Saturday, Cornell sophomore gymnasts Lyanda Dudley and Kaitlin Green will be competing in the NCAA Regionals at the University of West Virginia. Dudley, a winner of the ECAC Gymnast of the Year award, will be competing in the all-around, while Green, who won ECAC Specialist of the Year, will be competing on beam.
Dudley is coming off an incredible season, setting a new school record with a 39.255 performance. Her regional qualifying score of 38.970 also ranks eighth in the region.
“I am super excited to get to compete in a huge arena and I’m ready to show everyone what I’ve been working hard on this season,” Dudley said.
Green — the first Cornell gymnast to qualify for NCAA Regionals multiple times — had a chance to compete in the bars in addition to the balance beam, but lost in a tiebreaker. Nonetheless, she set a school record in the bars with a 9.900. Her regional qualifying score of 9.845 is just slightly lower than the school record from last season, 9.870.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to compete at regionals,” she said, adding that it would be strange to compete on an individual level instead of as a team.
“But having Lyanda there will make the whole experience even better,” Green said.
While the rest of the team will not be traveling with the gymnasts, the two remain confident they can carry on the regular season success the team had as a whole.
“It will be different suddenly not having my entire team there beside me, but I know they all still have my back and will be cheering me on from home,” Dudley said. “Plus I have Kaitlin there competing with me.”
The other teams competing at regionals for a spot at the national championships will be the host West Virginia, No. 6 Alabama, No. 18 Southern Utah, George Washington, Michigan and Kent State.
The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors who are not on an advancing team from each of the six regionals will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in St. Louis on April 14 and 15. Additionally, the event winners at each regional site will advance to the national championships if they are not part of a qualifying team or an all-around qualifier.