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Mar 23, 2024

Tigers Take Second at ACCs in Inaugural Season, Lippeatt, Smith Claim Major Honors

GREENSBORO, N.C. – No. 29 Clemson Gymnastics finished the 2024 ACC Championships with a 196.425 score, placing second among league teams in its inaugural conference championship appearance. Lilly Lippeatt, a redshirt freshman from Mason, Ohio, and Clemson’s first freshman signee was named the ACC’s Newcomer of the Year for the 2024 season. Amy Smith was named ACC Coach of the Year in her first competitive season guiding the Tigers. 

NC State won the ACC’s first league title since 1984 with a 197.550. Clemson’s score was its third-highest away from home this season, trailing a 196.825 at UCLA and a 196.550 at North Carolina, meaning it will count toward Clemson’s National Qualifying Score (NQS), which impacts NCAA Regional selections.

The Tigers led all teams with a 49.200 on vault, their final rotation, and also finished second on floor (49.425) and tied for second on beam (49.225). 

Twenty-three of Clemson’s 24 lineup members in this year’s championship are eligible to return for the 2025 season. 

Rebecca Wells finished with a 39.325 in the all-around, placing her second overall, and earning her ACC All-Championship Team honors. Molly Arnold (floor, vault), Kielyn McCright (beam), Madison Minner (vault), Maggie Holman (vault), Wells (floor, vault), Lilly Lippeatt (bars, beam) and Lauren Rutherford (floor) also earned All-Championship Team honors by virtue of finishing in the top six among all performers in their respective events. 

Freshman Trinity Webb became the first Tiger to officially compete in an ACC Championship event, leading off with a 9.775. Eve Jackson followed with a 9.850 before redshirt freshman bars All-ACC selection Lilly Lippeat tied her season-high with a 9.900. Kaitlin DeGuzman, also an All-ACC selection on bars, competed in her final conference championship event putting up a 9.825. After a fall, AAI Award Nominee Rebecca Wells stepped up in the clutch, matching her career-high with a 9.875. Clemson’s 49.225 was its fourth-highest total of the season in the event. 

Lippeatt led off with a 9.875, tied for her second-best mark of the season. Wells, a beam All-ACC selection, put up a 9.700, and Kielyn McCright scored a 9.875. Freshman Quinn Kuhl, making her first appearance in the lineup since Feb. 17 at NC State, matched her season-best with a 9.800 to anchor the Tigers, who had to count a fall in the event. 

Lippeatt again led off – this time with a 9.875 of on floor. Molly Arnold, an All-ACC selection on floor matcher her career high with a massive 9.950, second-best among all competitors. and Lauren Rutherford had the second-best mark of her career as she tallied a 9.925 and finished fifth overall. Wells followed that with a 9.900, her fourth score of 9.900 or better this season on floor and sixth among all performers. 

Wells, an All-ACC performer on vault, led off for the Tigers with a 9.825. Arnold, also an All-ACC selection on vault, had a 9.850 as she landed her Yurchenko 1.5. Lauren Rutherford had a 9.800, Madison Minner had a 9.875, her second-best mark of the season and second among all competitors on Friday, and freshman Maggie Holman had a 9.825, earning her a sixth-place finish individually. Clemson took four of the top six vault scores among all athletes and the 49.200 led all teams. 

UP NEXT: Clemson entered Saturday’s meet with an NQS of 196.690, and will await NCAA Regional placement on March 25, The Regionals take place April 3-7. From the NCAA: How the NCAA Championships work. 

NCAA Information

Regional selections announced: Monday, March 25

Regionals: Wednesday, April 3 – Sunday, April 7

  April 3 – 6 | Arkansas and Michigan Regional

  April 4 – 7 | California and Florida Regional

National Selections announced: Monday, April 8

National championship: Thursday, April 18 – Saturday, April 20 (Fort Worth, Texas)



    1. NC STATE: 197.300
    2. CLEMSON: 196.425
    3. UNC: 196.300
      PITT: 196.300


ACC Newcomer of the Year – Lilly Lippeatt

ACC Coach of the Year – Amy Smith

ACC All-Championship Team (Top six by event)

Rebecca Wells: all-around (2), floor (6), vault (t3)

Molly Arnold: floor (t2), vault (t3)

Kielyn McCright: beam (t5)

Madison Minner: vault (2)

Maggie Holman: vault (6)

Lilly Lippeatt: bars (t4), beam (t5)

Lauren Rutherford: floor (5)


How does the regionals selection process work?

Regional locations are determined through a bidding process where universities submit a bid for regionals in chunks of four years.

Each regional will feature nine teams and a varying number of individuals. The competitors are announced during the NCAA gymnastics selection show. 

Thirty-six teams qualify to regionals using national qualifying score rankings. NQS is determined by taking a team’s top six scores, three of which must be away, dropping the high and averaging the remaining five. The top 16 teams by NQS are considered to be seeded. 

For placement, teams ranked Nos. 1, 8, 9 and 16 are seeded into one regional, Nos. 2, 7, 10 and 15 are in another, Nos. 3, 6, 11 and 14 in the third and Nos. 4, 5, 12 and 13 in the final regional.

Teams outside the top 16 are placed geographically where possible.

As for teams slated to compete in round one of regionals, technically any unseeded team could be tabbed to compete—but it typically works out where teams ranked Nos. 29 to 36 are distributed to each of the four regionals. However, there was controversy in 2021 when No. 26 N.C. State was selected to compete in round one while No. 29 Kent State skipped straight to day two. The Wolfpack ultimately got the last word, as it made it all the way to the regional final, finishing fourth.