Waltz Competes at NCAA Championships Friday

April 16, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Kentucky gymnastics freshman Sydney Waltz became the 12th Wildcat in program history to qualify for the NCAA National Championships and will compete in the all-around on April 17. Waltz will make her NCAA Championships debut in the first semifinal session at 2 p.m. ET on Friday in Fort Worth, Texas.

NCAA National Championships
Semifinals: April 17, 2015, 2 p.m. ET
Fort Worth Convention Center Arena
Fort Worth, Texas

UK Info: Meet Notes (PDF)
Video: Waltz Previews NCAAs
Meet Info:
Championship Central
Video: NCAA.com
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A video stream will be available on NCAA.com and live results from the Fort Worth Convention Center can be found at NCAA.com. Additional notes and behind-the-scenes updates from Fort Worth will be available on Twitter at @UKGymnastics.

Waltz is the 12th 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.

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.

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.

Sydney Waltz is the 12th Wildcat in program history to qualify for the NCAA Championships and the first all-arounder since 2002. Waltz is the ninth UK gymnast to compete in the all-around at the NCAA Championships. Last season, Audrey Harrison competed on balance beam and tied for 40th overall with a 9.800.

Jenny Hansen won an NCAA-record eight national titles from 1993-95, including four in 1995, also an NCAA record. Along with all-around titles in 1993, 94 and 95, she won vault and beam in 1994 and vault, beam and floor in 1995.

The last time UK had back-to-back NCAA qualifiers was 1998-99, when Ashley Burkholder and Jennifer Simmons advanced to nationals. Waltz will be the 11th UK gymnast to compete at the NCAA Championships after Simmons, who qualified on vault, did not compete in 1999.

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.

Sydney Waltz led UK on two events in addition to a 39.125 in the all-around. She opened with a 9.800 on vault and closed with a team-high-tying 9.850 on floor. In her final collegiate meet, senior Kayla Hartley led UK on bars with a season-high 9.850, tied for the fourth-highest score at the NCAA Regionals. Fellow senior Shannon Mitchell's 9.850 was a team best on beam. On floor, Waltz shared team-high honors with sophomore Taylor Puryear.

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.

Click image for UK's Meet Notes (PDF)