Southeast sends two to regional

Thursday, April 7, 2005
Southeast Missouri State University gymnist's Tara Bolt, left, and Katie Bloom.

Tara Boldt wanted to repeat, while Katie Bloom wanted to shed her alternate status.

Mission accomplished on both counts for the two Southeast Missouri State gymnasts who qualified in the all-around for Saturday night's NCAA Division I South Central Regional in Lincoln, Neb.

"I'm extremely proud of Tara and Katie," Southeast coach Tom Farden said. "It's an honor to make it to regionals, and it's a reward for the great seasons they've had."

Boldt, a junior from Lakeville, Minn., will be making her second consecutive regional appearance, after finishing 10th in the all-around during last year's meet in Tucson, Ariz.

"It was a goal of mine to make it again, so I'm excited," Boldt said.

Boldt ranks 57th nationally and 12th regionally in the all-around with a Regional Qualifying Score of 38.925.

Boldt realizes it will be difficult to qualify for nationals -- only the top two finishers among more than 20 competitors earn berths -- but she believes her experience of having already been at regionals should be a boost.

"I won't be as nervous, having been there last year, so hopefully I can do well," Boldt said. "I'm not sure exactly where I can finish. Making it to nationals would be a pretty far-out goal.

"I'm just happy making it to regionals, and I just want to do my best."

Bloom, a senior from Snellville, Ga., traveled to Arizona last year as an alternate but did not compete. Her goal was to finally make it as a competitor -- and she did.

"It couldn't have ended any better for me," Bloom said.

Bloom, who ranks 89th nationally and 19th regionally in the all-around with a RQS of 38.600, also realizes it will be extremely difficult to qualify for nationals. But she's simply savoring her status as a regional participant.

"I just want to do the best I can and end my career with a bang," she said. "I think it's going to help me, having gone last year as an alternate. I know what to expect and know the format."

Both gymnasts expressed regrets the Redhawks did not meet their goal of qualifying for regionals as a team, as they fell just a bit short for the second consecutive season.

But making the regional cut as individuals at least helps lessen the disappointment.

"My first goal for the season was to make it as a team, and it was disappointing we didn't," Bloom said. "We did the best we could with the injuries, and I think we had a good year. But this does take away the sting a little more."

Boldt hopes the Redhawks will finally break through as a unit during her senior season next year.

"We just missed it again," she said, "but next year, definitely, I think we can make it."

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