No. 7 DU Finishes Second at Big 12 Championship

Julia Ross finished third on beam and in the all-around.
March 18, 2017

FRISCO, Texas – The No. 7-ranked University of Denver women’s gymnastics team finished second at the 2017 Big 12 Championship on Saturday, posting a final team score of 196.475.

Freshman Maddie Karr (Stillwater, Minn.) and senior Julia Ross (Henderson, Nev.) finished 2-3 in the all-around with scores of 39.450 and 39.350, respectively, earning spots on the Big 12 Championship Team.

No. 1 Oklahoma took home the title with a 197.850 while No. 22 West Virginia finished third with a 195.575, and Iowa State finished fourth with a 195.500.

“It was a solid performance despite tight scoring, which will help us be prepared for Regionals,” head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart said. “Even though it didn’t reflect in the scoring, our performance was still an improvement over last week.”

Denver opened the meet on floor, led by a 9.875 from junior Nikole Addison (Fort Myers, Fla.). Karr had the team’s next best mark with a 9.850, followed by sophomore Kaitlyn Schou (Orlando, Fla.) with a 9.800. Junior Claire Hammen (Loveland, Colo.) competed for the first time in 2017 and matched Schou’s 9.800. Senior Julia Ross (Henderson, Nev.) had the team’s final counted score with a 9.750.

For the second rotation, DU moved to vault with a team-high 9.875 from Karr. Denver’s next highest score came from Ross with a 9.825. Both Schou and senior Rachel Fielitz (Walden, N.Y.) added matching 9.800s. Addison’s 9.775 wrapped up the counted scores for DU.

On bars, the Pioneers were led by Ross’ 9.875. Karr and sophomore Diana Chesnok (Charlotte, N.C.) shared DU’s next highest score with a 9.850. Sophomore Claire Kern (Charlotte, N.C.) earned a 9.825 in the lead-off spot, and senior Leah Lomonte (Katy, Texas) followed with a 9.750.

DU finished the meet on beam with a 9.900 from Ross, which earned her third overall and a spot on the Big 12 Championship Team on the event. Karr and Schou each added a 9.875 while freshman Sam Ogden (Allen, Texas) posted a 9.800. Freshman Courtney Loper (West Des Moines, Iowa) kept DU from counting a fall with her 9.725.

“It was a solid performance from both of Julia and Maddie in the all-around,” Kutcher-Rinehart added. “And it was exciting to watch Claire step in on floor and hit in her first routine of the year.”

Following the meet, Kutcher-Rinehart was announced as the 2017 Big 12 co-Head Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with Oklahoma’s KJ Kindler.

Denver has secured a berth to its 19th-consecutive NCAA Regionals, which will take place on April 1. Regionals will be held at six universities across the nation: Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, Washington and West Virginia. The NCAA Regional Selection Show is set for Monday, March 20, at 2 p.m. MT, during which Denver will learn at which of the six regionals it will compete.

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