March 23, 2009 · Updated 11:41 PM
all-around finish aids Falcons at MPSF
Senior Brianna Schwartz placed second on the uneven bars and third in the all-around Friday, helping the Seattle Pacific University gymnasts shatter their season-high team score in a runner-up performance at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships.
The meet, conducted at Cadet West Gym, was the conference championship for the MPSF. Seattle Pacific is the only NCAA Division II team in the conference of Division I competitors.
Alaska Anchorage compiled a score of 192.825 to win the title. The Seawolves are the third different conference champion in the last three years. UC Davis won the 2008 title after SPU captured back-to-back MPSF meet victories in 2006 and 2007.
The Falcons’ second-place mark of 191.700 Friday was nearly two points higher than their previous season high of 189.875 recorded at home on Feb. 27.
Schwartz, a Sumner High graduate from Bonney Lake, registered a third-place mark of 38.575, the best all-around score this season by an SPU gymnast.
Seattle Pacific hopes its season-best performances will result in berths at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships, April 9-11 in New Haven, Conn.
The Falcons are unlikely to receive a team invitation to the eight-team national meet. They were listed No. 8 in recent qualifying rankings, but need to move up one position in the final ratings. The USAG grants an automatic berth to the host school and Southern Connecticut State is ranked No. 11, leaving spots for only the nation’s top seven squads.
The SPU gymnasts are also in the running for individual invitations to both the USAG championships and the NCAA West Regional that is set for April 4 at Washington’s Bank of America Arena.