April 20, 2006
Corvallis, Ore. - Although Christine Robella was performing for the first time in her career at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships Thursday, she looked very much like a veteran competitor at nationals, going four-for-four on all her routines and finishing in a tie for fourteenth place in the all-around competition. While her all-around score of 39.050 was not enough to advance to the final round of competition on Sunday, Robella had plenty to be proud about. The junior gymnast has hit 51 out of 51 performances this year, which sets a new Tar Heel record.
"It's an absolutely amazing feat," explains Coach Derek Galvin. "In school history, we have never had a gymnast go through the entire season with that many performances, and hit all of them. It's absolutely amazing."
Robella, who was the only Carolina gymnast to qualify to nationals, performed extremely well in Session I of the preliminary round at Oregon State's Gill Coliseum. Rotating with the University of Alabama, Robella tied for twenty-first on vault (9.750), tied for nineteenth on uneven bars (9.775), tied for thirty-first on balance beam (9.675), and tied for eighth place on floor exercise (9.850).
"Christine looked great and confident," Galvin says. "It's hard to come as an individual qualifier, and I'm so proud of her. She had such a great meet, going four-for-four and hitting every event. "
Leading the Tar Heels all year with strong performances, Christine Robella has had her best season yet. In addition to being named the East Atlantic Gymnastics League Gymnast of the Week twice, Robella won at least one event in seven of the ten regular season meets in which she competed in.
"From top to finish, it's been a great year for Christine," continues Galvin. "We're really looking forward to next year. I'm confident that she will bring her whole experience of nationals back, and it will help her get next year's team ready to make another run at regionals and hopefully get the entire team to nationals."
Making her first appearance at nationals, Christine Robella went four-for-four on all her routines. (Photo by Michael Czeiszperger)