Falcons fly and set season high

Konner Hancock

The Falcons scored their season high of 192.825 to place first in their meet against conference competitors.

It is the second time this gymnastics season that Seattle Pacific University has topped another competitor during a meet.

This particular meet last Friday, at home in the Royal Brougham Pavilion, was against Alaska Anchorage and Sacramento State.

SPU finished with 192.825 points, which was a full three points better than their performance two weeks prior of 189.200 at Sacramento State.

Friday night’s total topped the previous season high of 191.325 from the opener against UC Davis on Jan. 12, also in Brougham.

A big boost for the Falcons’ score was sophomore Darian Burns.
Burns topped 39 points on Friday for the first time in her career to win the all-around title.

She was also victorious in the vault and tied for first on the floor exercise.
Burns’ all-around total of 39.150 tied for first place with Caitlin Soliwoda of Sacramento.

It also wiped out her previous best of 38.775, which she set on Feb. 2 at UC Davis. It is the sixth-highest score in school history.

The record is 39.400 by Maria Hundley at the 2016 USA Gymnastics Collegiate Nationals.
Along with all the major scoring by Burns she had a special guest viewing from the stands during this meet.

Andrea Fizer, the mother of Burns, travelled all the way from Atlanta for the first time to see her daughter compete in Seattle.

The high scores and records seem to have made the long journey worth it.

“Darian had a great meet! She is totally capable of that if she hits all four events in the same meet,” head coach Laurel Tindall said.

Burns had placed first in vault at 9.825, floor with a 9.850 and second on the beam 9.800.
Along with Burns, two other Falcons flew into the top all-around scores.

Itzia San Roman grabbed the third highest all-around score with 38.650 and McKenna Zimmermann was right below her with 38.575.

San Roman also topped the balance beam score with a 9.825.

“I have no idea why they were on top of their game on Friday,” Tindall said. “We have always told them that they are capable of this, that they just had to believe in themselves.”

Seattle Pacific’s totals of 48.575 on the vault, 48.350 on the beam and 48.525 on the floor were all season highs.

The only event title not claimed by an SPU gymnast was the uneven bars.
Sacramento State teammates Jackie Sampson and Caitlin Soliwoda shared top honors with matching marks of 9.800.

The squads’ next matchup is Sunday, March 4, against San Jose State, Central Michigan and Air Force at San Jose, CA.

“We are definitely capable to a higher score,” Tindall said. “Our focus now is to have the same performance at an away meet.”