FORT WORTH, Texas — Kansas City is well represented in the 2023 NCAA women’s gymnastics national championship.
Florida, LSU, Utah and Oklahoma all feature local talent that has helped put them in a position to win it all.
Florida is led by former Team USA member Leanne Wong who is a two-time All-SEC and two-time defending SEC balance beam champion. The sophomore achieved double 10s twice this season in uneven bars and balance beam.
The Blue Valley alum tied for first in floor exercise with a 9.9625 in the semifinals that featured LSU, Denver and California alongside the Gators. She also tied for fourth in all-around with a 39.5625.
LSU has two KC gymnasts in Aleah Finnegan and Alexis Jeffrey.
Finnegan is another 2023 All-SEC gymnast who posted 10s in vault, beam and floor exercise (twice) in four consecutive weeks this season. The sophomore tied with Wong for first in floor in the semifinals.
The Summit Christian Academy alum also placed third in all-around with a 39.6500 and fourth in bars with a 9.9250.
Jeffrey spent last season at UCLA before transferring to LSU. The Warrensburg alum primarily competes in vault and bars and scored career highs in both in the postseason with a 9.950 in bars in the Regional Final and 9.900 in beam in Regional Second Round.
In the semifinals, the sophomore scored a 9.8375 in beam and 9.7750 in bars.
Utah has another former Team USA member in sophomore Kara Eaker. Eaker was a First Team NCAA All-American on beam in 2022 and is First Team All-Pac-12 on beam this season.
The Grain Valley product got a 10 on beam early in the season and scored 9.950 and tied for first in the Regional Final and scored a 9.9125 in the semifinals.
Oklahoma has Park Hill South alum and junior Meilin Sullivan who competes primarily in bars and beam but has seen little floor time this season.
Eaker, Finnegan and Jeffrey trained at GAGE Gymnastics in Blue Springs while Sullivan trained at Fuzion Gymnastics in Kearney.
The national championship is on Saturday at 3 p.m.