April 16, 2009
LINCOLN, Neb. - It was only fitting that senior Adrianne Perry (Columbia, Mo.) capped off one of the most successful four-year campaigns in Missouri Gymnastics history with another record-setting performance in her very last meet -- she is the program's first all-around All-American.
Perry finished 16th in the standings from both sessions of Thursday's NCAA Gymnastics Championship preliminaries with an all-around total of 39.350. Today's competition marked her fourth appearance at the NCAA National Championship -- another school first.
Her 39.350 is the highest in Missouri Nationals history. The honor came just after Perry garnered a second-team All-American crown for her 9.850 floor performance. The score grabbed sixth place in the first session, ultimately landing her at 11th overall after the second round of competition. She finished 11th on vault in the session (25th overall) and ninth on beam (21st overall), just missing All-American honors, and 19th on bars for the session (36th overall).
And junior Sarah Shire (Columbia, Mo.) earned first-team All-American honors on vault, the first of her career and the first for Missouri since Alicia Robinson in 2005. Her routine garnered a 9.9, ultimately finishing in fourth place for the session, and eighth overall. She will compete on Saturday in the individual event finals, with a shot at being crowned the vault national champion. She ultimately finished 13th on bars (27th overall), 24th on beam (45th overall) and 37th on floor for the session (76th overall).
Georgia took first place in the opening session with a score of 197.450, while Florida and LSU will also join the Bulldogs in the Super Six.In the second session, Alabama, Arkansas and Utah rounded out the Super Six competition.
It was Perry who first got the action started on her signature event, the floor exercise. And, as usual, the senior turned in a glowing, high-energy performance. Her score, a 9.850, locked her in a three-way tie for second after the first rotation, putting her in good shape for an All-American crown on the event.
It was on to the second rotation, where Shire got the chance to start her day. Georgia spent the first rotation on a bye. Competing after a heavyweight Bulldog lineup didn't faze Shire in the bit, as she performed a confident routine. But a tiny heel out of bounds would cost her, and she earned a 9.7.
Meanwhile, Perry headed to vault, where she would need a score of 9.800 or better to stay in the hunt for Saturday on the event. But she would go one better, notching a 9.85 to snag third place in the ongoing event standings - giving her another opportunity for All-American.
Perry headed to a bye in the third rotation, but Shire got busy shaking off her floor score and throwing one of the biggest vaults of the night to garner a 9.900. It is the highest score for a Missouri gymnast on the event at Nationals, tying Alicia Robinson's 2005 vault, and it's the fifth time this year she has hit or surpassed the 9.9 mark on vault.
Halfway through the competition, both Missouri gymnasts were in great shape for All-American honors. Shire's vault show gave her second place in the current standings on the event, a good place to be for first-team All-American and a ticket to Saturday. Perry was in position for second-team All-American accolades on both vault and floor, where she sat in sixth and fifth place, respectively. In the all-around race, Perry held down fifth place after three rotations, while Shire landed in sixth.
It was Shire's turn for a rest, while Perry headed to bars. The senior turned in a solid performance on the event to earn a 9.800 - her second highest score on the apparatus this year. It was the fifth-highest score on the night, but put her in 11th place in the event standings. And Perry still looked good in the all-around standings, as she led the individual completion with a three-rotation tally of 29.500.
She then headed to the balance beam, her last event of the night and an apparatus where she suffered a fall at last year's competition. But she looked near-perfect on the four-inch-wide balance beam this afternoon, garnering a 9.85, the third-highest score on the event so far. It would also land her fifth-place, an almost sure bet for second-team All-American. The event brought her all-around tally to a 39.350, tying her season-high mark from Regionals and setting a Missouri Nationals individual record.
Shire came back from the bye fired up to compete on bars, bringing the heat for a 9.825 tally, the fourth-best score of the night. She followed with a 9.775 on the beam to bring her all-around total to a 39.200 and 10th place in the first session all-around standings.
Stay with mutigers.com for news and updates on Shire's upcoming appearance in the NCAA National Championship event finals.