EAST LANSING, Michigan – Michigan State freshman gymnast Skyla Schulte will qualify for the NCAA Nationals in Fort Worth, TX as an individual competitor on balance beam. The Bolingbrook, Illinois native is the first Spartan to head to the championships since Lisa Burt in 2016.
Schulte tied for first on beam in the second round of regionals Thursday night with a 9.925, but the fate of the Spartans was not decided until Saturday’s final. Despite MSU’s season ending after the finals with opponents Alabama and Utah advancing to the championships, Schulte’s beam score from Thursday stood as the best mark of any what a gymnast to secure her a place in the championships.
The Spartans fought well in the final after coming out of the second round with a score of 197.325. Utah won the regional final with a score of 198.200, followed closely by Alabama with a score of 197.175. The Spartans clinched third place after holding on in second place until Utah reached 10.0 consecutive seconds on the beam to close out the final rotation. The team’s final score of 197.650 was the highest team score in program history, replacing the previous record of 197.525 set on March 5.
Schulte is the 12th Spartan player to advance to the NCAA championships. Schulte had a breakthrough rookie season with the Green & White, being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and First Team All-B1G at the end of the regular season. She holds the MSU all-around record, a score of 39.675 earned on March 5 against Western Michigan and has career highs of 9.950 on beam, bars and floor with a 9.925 on vault.
Schulte was the all-around winner of tonight’s final, posting a final score of 39.600 across four events. She tied her career best on floor with a 9.950 and added to her high scoring night with a 9.925 on beam, 9.900 on vault and 9.825 on bars. The freshman Spartan was tied for the floor title with Kyla Bryant of Stanford, Sydney Soloski and Grace McCallum of Utah, and Lexi Graber and Emily Gaskins of Alabama.
The NCAA Championship begins with the semifinals on April 14 at 1 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET.