FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the fourth consecutive year, Arkansas will be represented by two gymnasts at the NCAA Championships as graduate transfer Norah Flatley and freshman Lauren Williams have qualified for individual event specialist spots.
Flatley qualified on beam after she posted a 9.950 in the Norman regional semifinal last Thursday, the highest of the afternoon session and tied for highest on the day. It’s the second NCAA individual appearance for Flatley, as she qualified as an all-around competitor in 2022 with UCLA and placed seventh overall and fourth on beam (9.9375), both of which earned her a pair of All-American honors.
Flatley is the first beam specialist to qualify as an individual for Arkansas since Hailey Garner in 2019 and seventh ever. She carries a 9.905 NQS into championships and a season high score of 9.975.
Rookie Lauren Williams will represent her home state of Arkansas as an individual vault qualifier after she posted a 9.900 in the Norman regional semifinal. She is the first freshman individual to qualify since 2017, the first vault qualifier since 2014, and first freshman event specialist since 2010.
Williams has been a standout all season for the Gymbacks and has scored 9.900 or above four times over the course of 12 meets. She currently has a 9.880 vault NQS and personal high of 9.925.
Individual qualifiers, all from non-advancing teams, earn a bid to nationals by posting the top individual score on an event in the first day of regional competition.
Denver, LSU, Cal and Florida will compete in the first national semifinal at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 13 from Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, and Oklahoma, Utah, UCLA and Kentucky will take the floor at 8 p.m. Both Gymbacks will rotate with Utah in the evening session, Williams in the second rotation on vault with the Utes and Flatley finishing things off on beam in the fourth.
Individual titles and the top eight placements will be crowned at the conclusion of both semifinal sessions. Ties will not be broken, and the top four finishers on each event and all-around will receive First Team All-America status, and fifth through eighth placements will be named Second Team All-America.
The semifinal rounds of nationals will be broadcast live on ESPN2, and the national final, with the top two teams advancing from each session, will compete for the title on Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m. CT, live on ABC.
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