Gymnastics team qualifies for NCAA Regionals, makes program history


File photo: Sophomore Courtney Mitchell performs her floor routine in a meet against Winona State University on Jan 18. Courtney earned the top score overall in three out of the four events.
Photo by Kayla Drake


The Lindenwood gymnastics team made history as they qualified for the NCAA Regionals in Baton Rouge, La.

This is the first time ever in the program history that the team qualified for the NCAA Regionals, and the third ever DII program to earn a ticket to the regionals.

According to the USA Gymnastics website, Lindenwood is ranked first in the DII category and will need to defeat DI Washington State University in order to move on to the second round of the competition.

To be able to compete at nationals, the Lions will have to advance to the final round as only two teams from each region advance to the national championship in Texas.

On March 22, the Lions conquered their fifth Midwest Independent Conference, tying with the University of Illinois at Chicago with 195.350 points. It also became the fourth consecutive meet that they won with over 195 points. With this win, the Lions were able to punch their ticket to the regionals.

According to the Lindenwood Lions website, Andavea Alexander, Katie Bailey and Breanna Franklin made the MIC first team All-Conference selections for their beam routines. Aleah Leman made the first team for vault while Aleah Turon and Kyndall Baze made the second team.

Ryan Henry was the lone Lion to make the first team in the All-Around, beam and floor and second team on vault and bars.

Samantha Borges captured a perfect 9.775 score on bars to help the Lions earn a total of 48.725 overall. Jordan Boogerd led the vault with a score of 9.825.

“It’s so unbelievably exciting! We set our goals high and said from the beginning of the year that we were going to make NCAA regionals as a team, so to actually see it happen is a dream come true, and I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” Borges said.

The Lions will start action on Thursday afternoon at the Maravich Center in Baton Rouge.