Two gymnasts qualify for NCAA Regionals

Reporter and Reporter

The BG gymnastics program is sending two gymnasts to the NCAA Regionals in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Junior Megan Harrington and freshman Alyssa Nocella will compete on April 6th at the University of Alabama as all-around gymnasts.

Harrington qualified in the all-around last year and hopes that her previous experience will help her.

“Regionals is a lot bigger and you don’t have your team with you,” Harrington said. “It is a lot different to deal with alone versus competing with all 15 girls behind you. This is definitely something that you have to get accustomed to and I think having already done it will make things easier this year.”

Harrington also said that performing without the full team is not as fun because the team “has your back and wants you to do well.”

Nocella will head to this year’s Regionals for the first time. She said she is looking forward to the experience of being in a huge arena in Alabama and having that many people watching her perform.

“I think it will be a lot of fun and a great experience to have that kind of environment and to learn how to block it out while competing,” she said.

The two Falcons hope the arena will be as loud as the full gymnastics team so that they are able to pretend the team is cheering for them.

“Consistency increases my confidence,” Nocella said. “If I know that it is the same in practice as it is in competition, I know I’ve done it a million times in practice and I have the confidence to do it in competition.”

Harrington and Nocella said that they have never performed in a crowd as big as the expected Tuscaloosa crowd, but they know they will have to keep focused to do well.

“I think of me and the equipment and no one else around me. I have to focus on that—no judges, no fans, it’s just me and [the equipment].”

The entire coaching staff and the team’s trainer will go with the two gymnasts to Alabama.

Nocella will compete alongside gymnasts from BYU and Harrington will rotate with Denver.

“Most teams are really nice,” Harrington said. “Last year I rotated with Michigan and they brought me in as kind of their extra team member for the weekend. They invited me to go shopping and cheered ‘B-G-S-U’ for me during routines.”