Sydney Waltz Earns UK's First NCAA All-Around Berth Since 2002

April 7, 2015

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky freshman gymnast Sydney Waltz has qualified for the NCAA Championships and will compete in the first of two semifinals on April 17.

Waltz will make her NCAA Championships debut at 2 p.m. ET in the first session on April 17 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Waltz is the 11th Wildcat in program history to qualify for the NCAA National Championships and the first to earn an all-around bid since Aronda Primault in 2002. The Findlay, Ohio, native qualified with a 39.125 at the NCAA Regional Championships on April 4.

“Sydney has had a tremendous impact on our program this season, and I couldn’t be prouder that she will represent Kentucky gymnastics at the national championships,” UK head coach Tim Garrison said. “An outstanding performer on three events most of the season, she stepped in as an all-around competitor the last four meets of the year. She immediately excelled in that role, and with her qualification to NCAAs, she has accomplished something that hasn’t been done by a UK gymnast since 2002. Being a freshman, she will be able to share the valuable experience gained by competing at the championships with her current and future teammates.”

The championship field features 12 teams and 12 all-around competitors in addition to each event winner at the six regionals that were not part of an advancing team. Waltz will be paired with Stanford in the semifinals to open the three-day NCAA Championships. The top four individuals on each event from the semifinals will compete for individual event national titles on April 19. The team national championship will be on April 18, featuring the top three teams from each semifinal.

“It feels amazing,” Waltz said. “I’m just excited to go and be able to represent our team at the national championships. It’s going to be a fun experience and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

At the NCAA Regionals, Waltz finished fifth in the all-around with a 39.125 and earned a spot at the NCAA Championships when she placed second among gymnasts who were not a member of the regional’s top two teams.

Waltz led UK on two events in addition to the all-around. In her first career NCAA Regional appearance, Waltz opened with a UK-best 9.800 on vault. The freshman closed with a team-high-tying 9.850 on floor. Waltz also scored a 9.750 on uneven bars and a 9.725 on balance beam. Her 39.125 came in just her fourth all-around appearance of her career.

At the NCAA Regionals, UK recorded a 195.450 to finish sixth overall with the third-highest regional score in team history. It marked the third consecutive season the Wildcats notched a 195.000 or higher after they had eclipsed 195.000 just twice in program history before 2012, when Garrison arrived in Lexington. Kentucky made its school-record 11th consecutive regional appearance and earned the 27th NCAA Regional berth in program history.

For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Gymnastics program, go to UKathletics.com. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates and more can be found on Twitter at @UKGymnastics and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKGymnastics.