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TU sends 3 to NCAA Regionals

This Saturday, three gymnasts will represent Towson at the NCAA South Central Regional meet.

Seniors Kacy Catanzaro and Lindsay Poplaski will be competing as all-around gymnasts, and senior Avis Hixon will make her second consecutive appearance as an individual events specialist, competing on floor.

“But it’s great for Kacy being healthy all year to get in there, and even for Lindsay,” Head Coach Vicki Chliszczyk said. “She hadn’t necessarily competed consistently in the all-around before this year. For her to get that 39 she was looking for all season in Conference Championships, and then go to Regionals as an all-arounder, I know that was a huge goal for her.”

According to Chliszczyk, Hixon tied with teammate junior Britney Russell on floor, and it went to a double tie-breaker to decide who would be attending the meet.

Last season, when Hixon competed on floor, her rotation was last, so she had to wait through almost the entire meet until it was her time to compete.

This year, floor will be the first event, so she can perform at the beginning and be done for the remainder of the meet.

“She gets to warm up and compete and then kind of sit back and watch Lindsay and Kacy compete the rest of the meet,” Chliszczyk said.

In terms of potentially moving on to the NCAA Championship meet, Hixon is at a bit of a disadvantage.

To move on, she’ll need to place first over all the gymnasts competing.

“She needs to win floor outright to be able to move on to National Championships. She has to beat everyone in the entire competition,” Chliszczyk said. “Lindsay and Kacy, they have to become the top two all-arounders outside of advancing teams, so top two outside of those all-arounders in the top two teams that advance. So there’s a little bit more of an opportunity for an all-arounder than a specialist. If Kacy goes out and hits her routines, she’s certainly capable of getting scores up there that people, in the past, have moved on to National Championships with.”

Catanzaro will be rotating with Louisiana State and she said that she’s excited, but nervous, to follow their athletes’ performances.

“I’ve never been to Regionals for college, and I have my two other teammates there and I’m rotating with LSU, who’s the No. 1 seeded team there, so they’re going to be huge and energetic and hopefully fun,” Catanzaro said. “I’m a little bit nervous to follow them, because they go first and then I go after them, so their best person goes last. So I’ll have to go after their best person. It’ll be good, because their scores will be high. But I’m a little nervous going after them and how I’ll look compared to them.”

But Catanzaro said that Hixon has been calming her nerves and has made her feel a lot better about it.

“She just tells us little tricks about it, and she’s been so lucky to go the past couple of years,” Catanzaro said. “She’s really excited that we’ll be able to be there with her this year.”

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