Sometimes one’s best isn’t quite good enough.
On Saturday afternoon, gymnasts Dana Bonincontri and Kirsten Strausbaugh competed in NCAA Regionals at North Carolina State and although they turned in career-best performances, neither will advance to the NCAA Championships.
The juniors had been selected to compete as at-large all-arounds. Each finished top five in all-around scores in the Southeast region for gymnasts who did not qualify as a part of a team.
To move on, each would have to post one of the top two scores of any all-around gymnast whose team didn’t qualify for nationals.
Bonincontri, making her second career appearance at regionals, posted scores of 9.8 on three of four exercises, earning her a 39.150 overall. That score broke the career-high mark she had set for herself two weeks ago at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships. However, she was the first gymnast to miss the cut for nationals, falling short by .125 points.
Strausbaugh made her debut appearance at regionals, but if she was feeling any anxiety, she didn’t show it. The junior tied a career-high all-around score with a 38.900. But like Bonincontri, she fell just short.
The silver lining is that both will return next season — nationals isn’t out of the picture, yet.