As the gymnastics season is slowly coming to an end, it seems as if the Falcons have finally hit their stride. After traveling to Oregon for their final out of state meet, the Falcons were able to produce one of their best performances of the season.
After setting new records in the past couple of meets, it seems as if the Falcons are on an upward trajectory as they head into the final meets of the season.
“[Oregon State] is one of the highest schools that we go against,” junior Kristi Hayashida said. “It didn’t really affect us going into the meet because we are more focused on making sure we improve our scores from the previous weeks.”
In their three way meet against Oregon State and Ball State on Friday, March 4, Seattle Pacific had many outstanding performances across the board.
Senior Maria Hundley, who has been exceptional in the all-around the past few meets, was once again able to produce a stellar performance.
Hundley received a first place finish on the vault with a score of 9.850 and she earned third place in the all-around with a score of 38.450.
Sophomore Ariana Harger had a standout performance as she broke many of her season and career records. Harger’s performance included a third place finish on the vault with a score of 9.800 and a second place finish in the all-around with a (personal best) score of 38.850.
“Going up against teams that are that good, you just have to stay focus on your personal performance and your team performance,” Harger said. “You can’t worry about how the other team is doing.”
The Falcons were able to beat out Ball State (192.425) to finish in second place with a final score of 193.300 while Oregon State (196.800) finished first.
After only a few short days, SPU was back at it again as they hosted the University of Washington at Royal Brougham on Monday, March 7.
“It was a pretty quick turnaround time,” Hayashida said. “We got back from Oregon early Saturday morning then we had a really light practice on Sunday to make sure that we were ready for UW but [were] still rested from our previous meet.”
As the final home meet and Senior Night, Hundley was able to leave everything on the floor and finish her last home meet with a bang.
Hundley placed second on the vault with a score of 9.850, second on the uneven bars with a score of 9.850 and fourth on the floor with a score of 9.825.
When it came to the all-around performance, Hundley outdid herself once again as she finished second with a final score of 39.350.
Hundley’s high all-around score allowed her to break the previous SPU all-around record of 39.250 which was set 11 years ago by Debra Huss.
“It feels nice to beat the record and it’s even better that it was on Senior Night in Royal Brougham,” Hundley said. “Gymnastics has been a rocky journey for me so it’s awesome to find success through all the hard work I’ve put in.”
Junior Kristi Hayashida, one of the Falcons top beam performers, tied the second highest score on the beam in school history with a 9.90 on the apparatus.
Not only was this a career record for Hayashida, it was monumental for SPU gymnastics as a whole since it is one of the top scores any Falcon has received on any event.
“I had a few rough meets prior [to UW] on beam, so for me to be able to hit my routine perfectly was really awesome,” Hayashida said. “It was my goal for my career here at SPU to get a 9.90 so it was really nice to achieve that.”
Although the team lost to UW 196.600 to 193.450, its overall fantastic team performance allowed them to beat their previous score against Oregon to have the second best overall score for the season.
“A mid to high 194 is what we are shooting for as we are preparing for nationals,” Harger said. “The confidence that we have been able to build up by performing so well these past few meets has really helped us and I think it will continue to help us as we go into nationals.”
The Falcons will see UW again as they travel over to Edmundson Pavilion on Saturday, March 12 as this will be the final regular season meet for SPU.