By David F.P.
(Scores from eyewitness account, Maryland Sports Information. For full results either check out the UMD Athletics site or Troester depending on preference. ) [ Image Gallery ] (Note: External Link to Gallery)
COLLEGE PARK, MD- As the snow kept coming down outside the Comcast Center, four teams filed inside for a quad meet. The competitors consisted of nationally ranked #16 Denver and three EAGL teams in West Virginia, Rutgers, and the host Maryland. Denver was looking to as always keep building their national ranking, while Terps had a chance to avenge their loss on the road to WVU on their home floor. Rutgers has been integrating more gymnasts into the lineup either freshmen or previous injured competitors and would be participating in their third straight meet against teams in the northeast corridor.
Denver pulled out to a lead in the first rotation thanks to a 48.550 on Bars, but West Virginia took the lead in rotation 2 posting a 48.875 on Floor, while Denver had their worst event of the day on Beam. The Mountaineers would hold on to take the meet, with Maryland pulling into second, Denver third, and Rutgers 4th. West Virginia has now been undefeated since January 8th. The Pioneers were undefeated so far this season. It may seem like a bigger upset that #35 defeated #16 but the Mountaineers were actually ranked in the top 25 of the preseason poll so they were expected to contend far more in the national rankings. Rutgers is also working to stay ranked highly in the USAG Collegiate Nationals rankings. They went into the meet 2nd.
WVU pulls to 3-1 in their all time series with Denver, 31-13-1 versus Maryland, and they have never lost to Rutgers. Denver drops to 3-3 versus Maryland and met Rutgers for the first time ever now going to 1-0. I don’t have the exact numbers but Maryland still holds a commanding lead in the all time series vs. Rutgers.
West Virginia had the top team score on 3 of 4 events, but Maryland outscored them on their own best event 48.800 to 48.175 on Beam. Maryland had come into the meet with the top ranking in the EAGL on Vault. WVU’s best event was floor where they scored a 48.875. The Mountaineers are actually 2nd in the region in that event (ahead of even national power Georgia) and it showed. Denver’s top events were Vault and Bars with 48.550s on both. Rutgers had their top score on Vault where they put up a 48.3. Maryland and Denver both entered Saturday with a top 25 ranking on the Vault (21 & 24 respectively). Denver also was nationally ranked on Bars (24), Beam (13th), and Floor (8th) though WVU is ranked 16th nationally. Thus rankings wise there was some upsets all around.
There were high points for all four squads in the individual placements.
EAGL Specialist of the Week Chelsi Tabor took the Vault title with a 9.85, followed closely behind by Maryland’s Kyra Phillips (who is All-EAGL on the apparatus) and Denver’s Kelley Hennigan (each with 9.8s). Hennigan is ranked 4th on the VT in the north central region. Several gymnasts from WVU, Denver, and Maryland topped 9.7. Jenna Zito was the top scorer for Rutgers on the event with a 9.75 which sets a new team high for this season.
On the Bars four gymnasts tied for first place including Brianna Artemev of Denver (who is 18th ranked nationally on the UB’s), and Emily Kerwin, EAGL Gymnast of the Week Amy Bieski, and Nicole Roach all of West Virginia. They all put up 9.8s. Abigail Adams was the top scorer for Maryland with her 9.775. She is the team leading high scorer on this event. Other DU and UMD gymnasts followed and all of WVU’s gymnasts scored 9.7 or better. Zito was the top performer on the Bars for the Scarlet Knights as well. Zito has been in the top 3 on her team high scoring wise in all four events this season.
On Beam Maryland’s Adams was first with a 9.850, (she is the co-holder of the 09 EAGL Beam Champion title.) Teammates Talia Tossone and Brandi George tied for second with 9.8s. George is UMD’s team high scorer in ’10 and Tossone is also All-EAGL on the event. Denver’s Taylor Sanford, her team’s beam scoring leader, was close behind, Briana Melander was the 4th Terp above 9.7, Leigh Heinbaugh had RU’s highest score of the day on the treacherous apparatus and she joins the top scorers on her team with that performance, and DU’s Lauren Garan and WVU’s Kiersten Spoerke also topped 9.7 on the day.
Denver’s Simona Castro Lazo, a Chilean National Team Member, took Floor with a 9.850, her teammates Jaleesa Wilson and Artemev, as well as Maryland’s George and Kesley Cofsky, and WVU’s Spoerke all placed second with 9.825 (just slightly off her career high) . Four more Mountaineers put up higher than 9.7s as well as did Maryland’s Kyra Phillips. Zito led the Knights with a 9.625.
In the All Around Bieski of West Virginia took first with 38.775 edging Adams and her 38.575 Both are ranked in the top 10 regionally and in the league. These scores also topped Artemev’s 38.525. Artemev entered the week ranking 19th in the country in the AA.
Not far behind the first 3 was Cofsky’s 38.350, Zito’s 38.250 and RU’s Nicole Romano, DU’s Hennigan, and Rutgers’ Laura Sevarino.
Rutgers was able to improve upon their scoring from just a few days ago even with some of their usual top scorers having some lower scorers this week thanks to others gymnasts scoring higher than their highs this year so far.
Denver travels to BYU next Friday for a night meet with a regional rival. West Virginia heads home to welcome in Michigan and William & Mary. Rutgers heads to Pitt next Friday for a highly anticipated EAGL clash and Iowa State and Brockport will be in the house as well. Maryland remains at home next Friday as EAGL foe North Carolina and intrastate rival Towson come to town.
Routines List (Will be posted during the week.) (You can check Gymnastike for videos of many of the routines as well as interviews.)