hartke

After finishing in second place in her specialty event at the ECAC Championships, senior Alex Hartke has earned one more chance to shine for Penn gymnastics.

Credit: Carson Kahoe

For two seniors of Penn gymnastics, it’s not the end of the road just yet.

For their strong performances this year, the Red and Blue’s Alex Hartke and Kyra Levi earned individual event spots at the NCAA Regionals, becoming the first Quakers to do so in five years. Both will compete at Penn State on April 7, and event winners will advance to the national finals.

In addition, the entire Penn squad qualified for a bid to the team competition at the USA Gymnastics Nationals, taking place from April 13-14 in Denton, Texas. This is the second-highest team postseason competition in the nation, as the top 36 teams in the country qualified for the NCAA Championships.

In terms of the individual NCAA Regionals participants, Hartke will participate on the floor, while Levi earned a spot as a bars alternate. This season marks the first time since 2012 where the Quakers have two gymnasts competing at the Regionals, ending a drought of four straight seasons with no Regionals qualifiers.

Coincidentally, the last Quaker to qualify for Regionals was 2013 graduate Kirsten Strausbaugh, now an assistant coach for the team.

This season, Hartke has been consistent on the floor all season long, posting three consecutive scores of 9.850, a high of 9.925, and a low of 9.675 on the year. The senior was named ECAC Specialist of the Week three times this season alone, and was just awarded ECAC Specialist of the Year for her efforts, including a second-place finish in the event at the championship meet.

Levi has also always been someone the Quakers can trust for good scores, posting a season-high of 9.900 and not slipping below an impressive 9.700 on bars, competing in every meet this year. Like Hartke, Levi also earned accolades from the ECAC, winning the individual bars championship last weekend, and being named this season’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

However they perform at the regionals, these two have already made their team and school proud simply by making it there.

They may be on their last chapter at Penn, but they’re not ready to write the ending yet.

All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.