Mable finishes fifth on vault at NCAAs

Hanna Nordquist placed 16th on the balance beam after falling in the finals.

Minnesota gymnasts Hanna Nordquist and Lindsay Mable executes their beam routines at the NCAA regional competition at the Sports Pavillion on Saturday, April 5.

Daily File Photo, Chelsea Gortmaker

Minnesota gymnasts Hanna Nordquist and Lindsay Mable executes their beam routines at the NCAA regional competition at the Sports Pavillion on Saturday, April 5.

David Nelson

A 9.933 would be an impressive score during the regular season, but it earned sophomore Lindsay Mable a fifth-place finish on vault at the NCAA meet.

Mable and fellow sophomore Hanna Nordquist represented the Gophers at the NCAA individual finals in Birmingham, Ala., this weekend. They both qualified for the finals after a successful outing Friday night but came up a bit short Sunday afternoon.

“There were some amazing vaulters and competitors,” Mable said. “I was proud to be among them. And just being out there was an awesome experience for me. I’m very content with fifth.”

Nordquist — who tied for second on balance beam at the NCAA meet last season — struggled during this year’s competition and finished 16th overall. Nordquist fell during her balance beam routine, costing her a shot at the NCAA title.

“I was very frustrated,” Nordquist said, “[but] everything happens for a
reason.”

Gophers head coach Meg Stephenson said that regardless of the results, she was proud of the way both athletes competed.

“They both did really well,” Stephenson said.

Though Mable and Nordquist didn’t necessarily finish the NCAA meet in style Sunday afternoon, both opened competition on the right foot Friday night.

“Hanna rocked her routine on Friday,” Stephenson said. “It was absolutely gorgeous. Then [Lindsay] stuck her vault.”

Mable competed in all four events, hitting a 9.8 or higher in three of four. She said she wanted to redeem herself on the uneven bars after scoring a 9.225 in last year’s qualifying round.

Mable scored a 9.8 on the event this time around.

“I think my biggest goal this year on bars was have a little bit of redemption from last year,” Mable said. “I think starting on bars and feeling good about my routine really helped me just keep in the positive mindset.”

Her all-around title hopes were crushed, however, after she fell off the balance beam and scored a 9.25.

“That was a little bit disappointing,” Mable said. “A little bit of a letdown.”

Nordquist didn’t have any trouble with her beam routine Friday night, scoring a 9.9 on the event.

It was a much different story Sunday for both Mable and Nordquist, as the two gymnasts couldn’t match their qualifying-round performances.

“It was a learning experience for both of us,” Mable said. “We’re both … walking away with more knowledge of ourselves and the competition we face. There is a lot of excitement for what’s to come.”

Mable and Nordquist still have two years of eligibility left with the Gophers. And Nordquist said she thinks the last two years of NCAA experience will help the gymnasts in their final two seasons with the team.

“We’ve still got two more years to come back and do what we truly want to do,” Nordquist said. “I just hope they’ll be better [results].”