Cowlitz Gymnast of Sacramento State Is First to Compete in NCAA Championship
Kalliah McCartney, of the Cowlitz Tribe in Washington State, is the first gymnast from Sacramento State University to qualify for the 2014 NCAA Women’s Gymnastic Championships after placing sixth in the Seattle Regional on April 5 at the University of Washington. She will compete against the best college gymnasts across the country in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 18-20.
“I was almost speechless when I found out I made it to nationals,” McCartney told CBS13. “I was kind of in shock.”
“She made history,” said head gymnastics coach Kim Hughes. “This is our first NCAA gymnast to make it to Division 1 nationals.”
At nationals McCartney will compete in four events: the beam, bars, floor, and the vault, which is her highest scoring event. During the NCAA Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference, McCartney recorded a 9.95 vault, a school and all-time record for the conference. Her overall total at the conference of 39.275 is tied for the ninth -highest in Hornet history.
“I personally believe that what makes me a good gymnast is the consistency that I have. I might not have the best highest quality skills, but I can hit those routines and I’m confident about those.” She told FOX News.
McCartney,21, is named after her great-great-great-grandmother who was a princess in the Cowlitz Indian tribe. She has been a gymnast since she was 6 years-old and trains for at least five hours per day. She is on a gymnastic team with more than 20 girls, but she will go to Alabama alone.
“I’m just excited to show that Sac State has some quality gymnastics and that we’re rising,” she said.
McCartney will compete on Friday, April 18.
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