Juniors Khazia Hislop and Mikayla Robinson represented North Carolina gymnastics at the Athens Regional in the 2019 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships on Friday. It was the third time in three years that each has participated in a regional.
Hislop qualified to compete in vault, beam and floor with nationally qualifying scores of 9.890, 9.855 and 9.925 respectively. She is ranked nationally at No. 23 for vault, No. 79 for beam and No. 16 for floor. The junior rotated with Iowa State during Session One on Friday afternoon.
Hislop kicked off the afternoon on beam and scored a 9.800, eplacing 12th in that session. On floor, one of Hislop’s best events, the junior scored lower than normal. She scored a 9.875, placing seventh. According to head coach Derek Galvin, Hislop competed with a lot of power, almost too much power. Her flips and tumbles were some of the highest they had been all season, occasionally causing her to have to take an extra step or not land solidly.
Hislop’s powerful performance continued on vault, where she scored a 9.875. While she placed fourth, there were still small errors that the junior should have been able to avoid. Similarly, to floor, when Hislop landed her vault, she bounced again ever so slightly from her strong dismount.
Robinson competed on vault at the regional after finishing the season with a nationally qualifying scores of 9.840. She is ranked No. 75 in the nation and rotated with California during Session II on Friday night.
Robinson blew the night away, scoring a 9.875 in one of her arguably best routines of the season, according to Galvin. She matched Hislop’s score from the earlier session and placed sixth in the evening session on vault.
"It was fun," Galvin said. "It was a really good experience for them. It gives them something to bring back and get the team fired up and next year hopefully they will all be here together."
Who stood out?
Both Tar Heels stood out in the Athens Regional with powerful performances that reached new heights.
"They both had a great week and they enjoyed the experience," Galvin said. "The performances that Khazia and Mikayla had today were some of the best that they have had this year."
Why does it matter?
This is Hislop’s and Robinson’s third consecutive appearance at the regional level. With a change in qualifying format, it’s become incredibly difficult to qualify as an individual versus qualifying as a team.
Where do they play next?
Because Hislop and Robinson didn’t qualify to move on to the next round, this is the end of the 2018-2019 season for UNC gymnastics.
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