Pac-12 ends 2016 gymnastics season with NCAA individual beam title

8 Pac-12 Gymnasts Receive 2016 All-America Honors

SAN FRANCISCO– Four Pac-12 gymnastics teams and individuals from the other four Pac-12 programs competed at the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships this past weekend in Fort Worth, Tex. The weekend resulted in an individual NCAA title on balance beam for UCLA’s Danusia Francis, a 19th Super Six appearance for UCLA, a program-best 7th-place overall finish for CALIFORNIA, and National Coach and Assistant Coach of the Year honors for CALIFORNIA’s Justin Howell and Liz Crandall-Howell.

In a format change from previous years, individual event titles were decided during the NCAA Semifinals on Friday. UCLA’s Francis scored a session-best 9.95 on balance beam in the second semifinal session, earning herself a share of the 2016 NCAA balance beam title to close out her collegiate career. Florida’s Bridget Sloan scored a 9.95 in the earlier semifinal session, tying with Francis. Francis’s win on beam marks the second-consecutive NCAA individual beam title for UCLA, as standout Samantha Peszek took home the title in 2015.

UCLA was the only Pac-12 team to advance out of Friday’s semifinals to participate in Saturday’s Super Six, marking the Burins’ first Super Six in three years and 19th overall. With a team score of 197.825, UCLA finished fifth in the nation. The Burins hit 48 of 48 routines over the weekend en route to the top five finish. 

The Golden Bears of CALIFORNIA made their first appearance at NCAA Championships in 24 years, and did so without sophomore standout Toni-Ann Williams who was busy qualifying to represent Jamaica at the 2016 Olympics. Even without their star, CALIFORNIA finished 7th in the nation overall and just missed qualifying for the Super Six. The best finish in program history was a fitting end to a record-breaking season for the Bears.

In addition to the team’s success, CALIFORNIA coaching duo Justin Howell and Liz Crandall-Howell were recognized with the nation’s highest honors after leading the Golden Bears to their best-ever seventh-place finish and first NCAA appearance since 1992. Howell was voted the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W) National Head Coach of the Year, and Crandall-Howell is the Assistant Coach of the Year.

Eight Pac-12 gymnasts also received 2016 All-America Honors, including four on the First Team. STANFORD sophomore Elizabeth Price led the Pac-12 by earning 2016 First Team All-America honors four times over: in the all-around and on vault, bars, and beam. 

Three different UCLA gymnasts and three different UTAH gymnasts also claimed All-American honors. UCLA’s Francis earned first team honors on beam, Bruin viral sensation Sophina DeJesus won second team honors on bars, and Sadiqua Bynum earned second team honors on floor. 

UTAH’s Baely Rowe was named to the second team in the all-around and on beam while teammate Kassandra Lopez took home first team honors on bars and Sabrina Schwab took home second team honors on bars. Finally, STANFORD’s Ivana Hong was named a Frist Team All-American on balance beam.

Pac-12 First Team All-Americans

Elizabeth Price, STAN

Elizabeth Price, STAN

Elizabeth Price, STAN
Kassandra Lopez, UTAH

Ivana Hong, STAN
Elizabeth Price, STAN
Danusia Francis, UCLA

Pac-12 Second Team All-Americans

Baely Rowe, UTAH

Sophina DeJesus, UCLA
Sabrina Schwab, UTAH

Baely Rowe, UTAH

Sadiqua Bynum, UCLA

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