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Arizona GymCats’ Sirena Linton advances to national championships on balance beam

Arizona v UCLA Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Every NCAA gymnast hopes to go to the NCAA national championships with her entire team. When that’s not possible, going as an individual is the next best thing. Junior balance beam specialist Sirena Linton will get to experience the next best thing this year. She was announced as the beam qualifier out of the Norman regional on Saturday evening.

To qualify as an individual, an athlete must be the highest-scoring competitor on an event or the all-around whose team did not qualify for nationals. Linton was assured of a place on Thursday when she won the balance beam competition in Norman but Arizona was eliminated in the regional semifinal.

Linton tied her career high by scoring a 9.925 on the balance beam. It was the only event she competed in regionals.

It is the second straight year that an Arizona gymnast advances to nationals as an individual. Last year, junior Malia Hargrove competed in floor exercise. Hargrove was not too far from qualifying for a second straight season. She finished with a score of 9.925 on floor and 39.500 in all-around.