Three-peat

UC Davis secured its third consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship title on Saturday March 24.

The Aggie gymnasts surged late this season to enter the MPSF Championship Meet as the decided favorites and this year’s squad did not disappoint, as they hosted the event at the Pavilion.

Junior Katie Yamamura literally vaulted her way to the MSPF Gymnast of the Year award. She was one of seven Aggies battling for spots on the five all-conference honors. Every single UC Davis gymnast landed a slot on at least one all-conference roster but Yamamura took that challenge to a whole new height, earning spots on all five all-conference teams.

The Aggies posted one of the best seasons in school history and head coach John Lavalle was named MSPF Head Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his six year tenure at UC Davis. Not to be outdone his assistant Tamara Ross was also granted MSPF Assistant Coach of the Year honors.

While Lavalle and Ross were coaching their way recognition, UC Davis’ gymnasts were dominating all four events.

Three Aggies were placed on the all-conference team for the vault. Yamamura led the conference with a score of 9.810 while her teammates sophomores Anna Shumaker and Madeline Kennedy ranked fifth and eighth respectively.

Yamamura scored 9.800 on uneven bars, swinging her way to first place in conference. She was joined by fellow junior Michelle Ho whose score of 9.680 earned her seventh place on the all-conference roster.

Junior Leah Housman spearheaded UC Davis’ balance beam success with a score of 9.730. She was followed by fifth ranked Yamamura and seventh ranked Shumaker.

Four UC Davis gymnasts stuck landings on the all-conference roster for floor exercise. They were piloted by Michelle Ho, whose 9.805 earned her second place on the roster. Yamamura rounded out her day with a fifth place ranking in floor. Junior Taryn West earned a 9.735 to place seventh and she was followed by Shumaker, who earned her third all-conference roster slot in floor with a score of 9.730.

Two Aggies were placed on the all-around conference roster. Yamamura ranked first with an overall total of 38.935 while freshman Tiana Montell placed fourth overall.

With their performances on Saturday, UC Davis continued its legacy of gymnastic dominance in the MSPF conference. The squad will lose seniors and co-captains Lauren Eller and Erika Van Dyke this year but there is a lot of talent returning for the 2013 year.

As Lavallee said, “There’s still a lot left in the tank to see how good this team can be.”

KIM CARR can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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