Dustin Amick | Clarion

For the first time since 2008, the No. 9 DU gymnastics program advanced to the NCAA National Championships. Recording a score of 197.050 at NCAA Regionals on April 1 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the team finished second overall in the six team field.

Regular season All-Americans freshman Maddie Karr (Stillwater, Minnesota) and senior Julia Ross (Henderson, Nevada) continued their spectacular seasons, competing in the all-around and posting scores of 39.500 and 39.325, respectively.

Karr’s 9.900 performance on beam tied her for first place in the 42-lady field. She also finished fifth on vault, recording a score of 9.875. Her all-around score left her only .025 behind first place.

Finishing in the top-12 on vault, bars and beam, Ross would place fourth overall in the all-around field.

As a team, Denver scored second on vault (49.225), bars (49.350) and floor (49.250), while finishing first on beam (49.225).

DU received an outstanding effort from sophomore Diana Chesnok (Charlotte, North Carolina), as her 9.925 score on bars tied for first.

Senior Rachel Fielitz (Walden, New York) also boasted a first place finish, as her 9.900 performance earned her a share of first place in vault.

“It was a complete team performance. Our student athletes showed tremendous heart and perseverance, and it was a gritty and mentally tough performance,” said Head Coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart. “It was an incredibly competitive meet. The caliber of gymnastics from all the teams here tonight—that’s what makes this so much more rewarding.”

No. 4 University of Utah paced the field, besting Denver by the slim margin of 197.150-197.050. DU’s performance marked the fourth time the program had advanced to the championships, while also being the 18th straight year they have advanced at least one member of the team.

The championships will take place in St. Louis on April 14 and 15.