By David F.P. [Image Gallery]
(Eyewitness report, scores courtesy SCSU Sports Information.)
NEW HAVEN, CT- The Southern Connecticut State University Owls would open the season at home welcoming in the division 3 Springfield Pride and the Brown University Bears from the Division 1 Ivy League. Springfield opened the season last weekend, but this was also the first meet of the year for Brown.
The result was a close meet for all involved. SCSU took the win with 182.9 to Brown’s 182.825, and Springfield’s 181.150.
The Owls ended up improving their scores from rotation to rotation beginning with a 45.025 on Vault, pulling up to a 45.325 on Bars, then a 45.950 on Beam, and finally finished with a bang with their 46.600 on Floor.
The second place Bears started on the nefarious Balance Beam with their lowest score of the day, 44.050, then headed to Floor where they scored their highest with a 46.800. Vault brought them a 45.575, and they finished solidly with a 46.4 on the Bars.
Springfield started on Bars with a 43.400 which would prove to be the low scoring event for them, as they put up a 45.3 on Beam, then a 46.675 on Floor (the high score of the day) before wrapping up with a 45.775 Vault rotation.
Individually there was some close finishes. Springfield’s Ericca Castagna took the Vault crown with a 9.375, edging her teammate Christina Pagella and SCSU Freshman Rebecca Brady’s 9.275. Carli Wiesenfeld was the top scorer for Brown that day with her 9.250. Springfield produced 4 of the top 6 vaulters on the day.
On the Bars, SCSU’s Sarah Darst took number 1, which is no surprise to those familiar with her specialty. Her 9.650 was ahead of Brown freshmen Julia Meyer (9.5) and Lauren Hall (9.45). SCSU’s Stephanie Kuska was right behind them, though Brown produced 4 of the top 6 scores of the day.
On the Beam which gave all the team’s plenty of trouble, Briana DiPinto picked up the highest score of the day with a 9.6, teammate Brady had a 9.5, and Audrey Lastra from Springfield rounded out the top 3 with a 9.4. Taylor Murray from SCSU, Brittany Baglow from Springfield and Brown’s Helen Segal rounded out the top 6.
The Floor Exercise proved to be a close contest with so many gymnasts competing with FX awards to their credit. Segal, the reigning Ivy Classic Floor champion took first with a 9.650, Brady was second with a 9.575, and Binkley was third with a 9.55. Darst placed fourth, Pagella fifth, and Dipinto sixth in a close one.
In the all around, there were only three all arounders, but the all were formidable. Brady took the AA win in her first collegiate meet with a 37.350 topping Brown’s stalwart Binkley (36.425) and newcomer Hall (35.250)
Of note was that neither SCSU nor Brown were at full strength it seems, though no injury report was available. Southern’s decorated junior Justine Basley was on crutches and logically not competing for one, and Brown’s Vicki Zanelli did only one event when she normally does several as another example.
SCSU’s lineup was an interesting mix of newcomers and veterans. The Owls went into the season with almost every single gymnast who competed last year back giving them a great deal of depth.
On Vault, the newcomer Brady anchored the rotation, preceded by senior Captain DiPinto, freshman Kaitlyn O’Brien went before her, and returnees Taylor Wierzba, Sarah Holensworth, and Robin Underwood were the first 3 up in reverse order.
On Bars, Darst, the senior Captain and specialist anchored the rotation as she has for some time, returnee Stephanie Kuska was 5th, Brady 4th, Holensworth third, senior and Captain Murray 2nd, and sophomore Mallardi 1st.
Over on Beam, DiPinto anchored, Brady preceded her, Murray was 4th, with Underwood, Wierzba, and Kiback as a returnee trio.
Brady anchored floor, DiPinto before her, Laraway, Darst, Mallardi, and Wierzba in reverse order made up the rest of the lineup.
For Brown, freshmen were everywhere. On Vault, Hall and Nicole Abdo are both newcomers and they led off, followed by the veterans Segal, Carli Wiesenfeld, and Binkley, but another freshman Emily Lutfey was the anchor.
On the Bars, Binkley led off, followed by Hall, the veteran Izzy Kirkham-Lewitt, Wiesenfeld, then freshmen Lutfey and Julia Meyer were the 5th and 6th
On the Beam, Hall was 1st up, then Binkley, Sophomore Goddard, freshman Meyer, and the veteran’s Zanelli and Segal.
On Floor, Lutfey and Hall led off, followed by Goddard, Abdo, then the well decorated Binkley and Segal anchoring it.
Springfield’s Brittany Baglow was in three events as a freshman, and Annmarie Graziosa made an appearance on Beam. Most of the lineups were filled with seniors and juniors like Amanda Campbell, Brittany Davis, Kayleigh Davis, Christina Pagella, Ericca Castagna, Ashley Moreck, Marissa Rusin, Jeanna Bradle, Danielle Trota, Audrey Lastra, and Lizzie Sartrell. The lone sophomore’s making appearances were Carly Flynn, Megan German, and Kristina Lantos.
SCSU and Brown will both be in action again next Sunday, this time in Providence with Brown hosting not only Southern Connecticut, but also New Hampshire, and the MIT club team. Springfield’s next meet is home against SUNY Brockport Sunday as well.
Routines List for Brown and SCSU coming soon. (With only two cameras it was difficult to film all three teams.) In the meantime the video coverage is up on Gymnastike here/a>