Springfield, Mass. - March 24, 2018 - Springfield College's Tali Twomey (Cotuit, Mass.) claimed a national championship in the Floor Exercise, as the sophomore broke the Springfield College women's gymnastics program record with a score of 9.900 at the 2018 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) National Championships on Saturday evening in Blake Arena.
Twomey, a sophomore Rehabilitation and Disability Studies major at Springfield College, becomes the eighth student-athlete dating back to 1971 to earn a national championship in the individual event finals on the national stage. Twomey is also the second student-athlete to win an individual national championship in the last 18 years, as Abby Clark '15 won a national title on the balance beam in 2015. Additionally, Twomey is only the second-ever national champion in the floor exercise, as the only other Springfield College women's gymnast to win a national title in the event was Sarah Bryson in 1996.
"It just feels so unreal. I can't even believe that it happened," said Twomey. "The support that I have had from my teammates and coaches has been so unbelievable. They have been by my side this entire season and they have always believed in me. They had all the confidence in the world in me, and I could not have done this without them."
Additionally this marks the first national champion for head coach Jenn Najuch, who just finished her third season at the helm of the Pride.
"I'm very excited for Tali. She has worked so hard all year to get to this point," said Najuch. She consistently works on the small details of her performances and gets better each and every day. It was really exciting to see her win a national championship at home in front of our amazing fans. It is so great to have one of hopefully many national champions to come."
In addition to Twomey's performance in the floor exercise, the sophomore also notched a 9.575 on the vault earlier in the night to tie with teammate Ali Rushlow (Worcester, Mass.) for seventh overall. Also on vault, Taylor Jackson (Ocean, N.J.) took 14th with a score of 9.550.
On the uneven bars, Jess Clemens (South Setauket, N.Y.) earned All-America recognition with a score of 9.7000, finishing eighth overall, while Briana Kerr (Bolton, Conn.) took 18th with a 9.275. Clemens also earned All-America honors on the balance beam, as the junior posted a score of 9.700, while Lauren White (Littleton, Mass.) and Sarah Murphy (Norwell, Mass.) also competed on beam, where Murphy took 10th with a 9.650 and White 21st with an 8.700.
The second-to-last competitor on floor, Twomey needed a 9.900 to win a national title in the event and rocked the house, as she broke the program record en route to the first national title of her career. Also competing on floor was Madi Bowen (Sunderland, Mass.), who finished with a 9.300.