NCAA Championships on the Horizon for Hambrick and O’Hara

Local Sports

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior Kennedy Hambrick and graduate Maggie O’Hara continue their hunt fora national title this weekend, as the Gymback duo competes on Friday as individual qualifiers for the 2021 NCAA Gymnastics Championships in Fort Worth, Texas. Hambrick will compete as an all-around competitor and O’Hara will compete on the uneven bars. 

Hambrick qualified for nationals with an impressive 39.550 in round two of the Tuscaloosa Regional. At nationals, she will rotate with Oklahoma in Session II, starting at 5 p.m. and beg her evening on bars, rotating in Olympic order. 

After an impressive regular season, Hambrick holds two of the top three all-around scores in Arkansas history, finishing with a 39.700 at Auburn on March 5 and a program-best 39.750 at home against Missouri on Feb. 19. 

O’Hara will accompany Hambrick to regionals after qualifying on bars after scoring a solid 9.925 on Friday afternoon in Tuscaloosa. O’Hara’s routine was one of her best this season, earning a perfect 10 from one judge. The Lexington, S.C. native will compete in Session I at nationals, starting at noon and make her appearance on bars after Minnesota’s lineup in rotation two. 

Headed into nationals, seven of O’Hara’s 11 routines this year earned a score of 9.900 or better, she leads the team with a season-high of 9.950 on bars and an NQS of 9.925 that led her to finish ranked 11th in the country in the event.

Arkansas at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships 

  • This is the 15th year in program history that Arkansas has been represented at the NCAA Championships. 
  • Most recently, the Razorbacks finished sixth overall as a team in 2018 and in 2019, had two event qualifiers in Sophia Carter (floor) and Hailey Garner (beam).
  • Hambrick is the sixth Gymback to qualify as an all-around competitor, joining Arkansas greats Dana McQuillin, Casey Jo Magee, Katherine Grable, Amanda Wellick and Jessica Yamzon.
  • Katherine Grable claimed Arkansas only two national titles in 2014, taking home the crown on vault with a score of 9.975 and on floor with a remarkable 9.9625.
  • O’Hara is just the third Gymback in program history to qualify as an event finalist on bars and the first since Casey Jo Magee competed on bars, beam and floor at the 2010 national championships.

How to Watch

Individual national champions are determined on the first day of the NCAA Championships with the highest individual score, including ties, earning national championships in each respective event. Pri­or to 2014, finishers 1-4, including ties, from each session would advance to the individual finals on day two of the championships. 

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