Sophia Hyderally, a junior on the UAA gymnastics team, was the single Seawolf to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships after a record-breaking regular season.
Hyderally qualified for balance beam after winning the title at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships on March 23. This was the second time Hyderally has earned this title, the first during her freshman season.
Although she qualified for the NCAA Championships this year after a 9.900 at the conference meet, Hyderally had previously performed better. She currently holds the UAA school record on balance beam with a 9.925 that she earned during conference championships in her freshman season.
Despite competing 11 times in balance beam during the 2019 season, Hyderally has not surpassed her school record. She has posted three 9.900 finishes, one 9.875, two 9.850’s, two 9.825’s, two 9.675’s and one 9.275.
However, her scores were good enough to earn a 9.875 national qualifying score, an average of her six best regular season meet scores. She was the first Seawolf in UAA history to qualify in balance beam and the 14th ever to qualify for NCAA regionals.
Hyderally is also the first to qualify in three years, the last being M’rcy Matsunami in 2016.
Along with head coach Tanya Ho, Hyderally traveled to the NCAA Regional Championships in Corvallis, Oregon on April 5.
Hyderally was among 56 athletes who competed in balance beam during the two sessions. She finished with a 9.900, tying her season best.
After all the gymnasts competed, Hyderally finished in a tie for fourth place. In order to have qualified for the final round, she needed to be the top scorer.
However, hers was the highest score a Seawolf has ever earned at an NCAA regional meet.
“Sophia showed again what a big-time performer she has become this year. She could have had nerves with it being her first time on this stage, and she didn’t show any. She was in a reasonable position to advance after the early session, so it’s a little bittersweet that she didn’t quite make it to nationals, but I also couldn’t be any happier about how well she performed and represented our program,” Ho said.
Hyderally will now join the rest of her teammates in their off-season, who will commence their 2019-20 season training in the fall.