Former Olympian and now 3 time NCAA All Around Champion Courtney Kupets from University of Georgia is just amazing. Thursday Kupets scored her 5th perfect 10 of the season (on beam) to secure her third NCAA All Around title. Kupets' All Around score of 39.80 ties the NCAA record set in 1995 by Jenny Hansen of Kentucky who also won 3 NCAA All Around titles. She also qualified for event finals in all 4 events. WOW.
As Courtney Kupets comes to the end of her NCAA career one only wonders if she is done with gymnastics or will she return to her former club Hills and decide to go Elite again. If anyone can do it, it is Courtney. I have had the pleasure of following the careers of both Courtney and her older sister Ashley (also a very successful UGA gymnast) since they were little kids. I distinctly remember them at early meets (when they were 7 & 8 ish) – there was something about them that left an impression on me then. Courtney has gone on to fight back from multiple injuries both as an Elite gymnast and as a collegiate gymnast (an Achilles injury kept her from last year's NCAA) and every time she comes back she just looks stronger than before.
Individual results from the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships:
All-around finals (top 10 only)
1. Courtney Kupets, University of Georgia, 39.800
2. Kristina Baskett, University of Utah, 39.600
3. Vanessa Zamarripa, University of California – Los Angeles, 39.575
4. Michelle Stout, University of Arkansas, 39.525
4. Ariana Berlin, University of California – Los Angeles, 39.525
6. Tiffany Tolnay, University of Georgia, 39.500
7. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, University of California – Los Angeles, 39.475
8. Ricki Lebegern, University of Alabama, 39.450
8. Ashley Priess, University of Alabama, 39.450
8. Maranda Smith, University of Florida, 39.450
The top four individuals, plus ties, on each event in each prelim session qualified for the individual event finals which will be held on Sunday. (Complete results from preliminaries)
In the team competition, five of the six teams advancing to Saturday's Super 6 are from the strong SEC conference. The teams include:
While Utah barely squeaked in winning a tie-breaker with UCLA, Utah is considered to be the only team with a chance at dethroning the mighty UGA team. Georgia is banking on winning their 5th straight NCAA team title in their coach, Suzanne Yoculan's final season. Yoculan is retiring at the end of this season.
Thursday's competition is just the beginning of an exciting weekend of college gymnastics (both the mens and the womens titles are on the line this weekend.) You can actually watch coverage of the meet online – here is the viewing schedule. Or watch the Women's NCAA National Gymnastics Championships May 9 on CBS at 12 PM ET.