by David F.P.
DURHAM, NH- The EAGL Championships brought together all eight teams in the conference in a contest to determine the team champion and individual champions. Also not out of sight is NCAA regionals set for two weeks from now. The North Carolina State Wolfpack arrived in Lundholm Gymnasium as the defending champions, but would face a tough fight to keep the title against a variety of top 36 teams and teams on the edge of that list. The North Carolina Tar Heels pulled out to a lead, and traded it back and forth with the host UNH Wildcats, as the Wolf Pack, West Virginia Mountaineers, Pitt Panthers, and Maryland Terrapins especially threatened to jump a few places. Due to the rotation order, Maryland and West Virginia finished first with WVU’s 195.075 being set as the score to beat. NC State, UNH, UNC, and Pitt then too part in the last rotation and as the scores were flashed up it was clear that NC State had broken past West Virginia, but North Carolina had topped NC State as well if the scores held up leading the gymnasts to cheer wildly amidst their rotation aware of what was about the happen. The final score for the heels was 196.025 to NC State’s 195.700.
New Hampshire ended he day with a 194.700, Pitt a 194.400, Maryland a 194.200, GW a 193.575, and Rutgers a 187.550. The teams scored relatively close to each other on the Vault and Floor, it was essentially the Bars and Beam that would prove to be Achilles heels (not pun in intended) for the various contenders.
While every team wanted to win, there was also the individual merits to go around. In the all around competition, Maryland’s Abigail Adams, NC State’s Taylor Seaman, and UNC’s Kara Wright all won 1st place each scoring 39.325. Adams got there by scoring no lower than 9.8 on any event, Seaman propelled herself up with a 9.9 on Vault and 9.925 on Floor especially, and Wright used a pair of 9.875s and a 9.85 on the journey to first. North Carolina’s Morgan Evans was right behind them with a 39.225, Pitt’s Alicia Talucci and UNC’s Christine Nguyen had 39.2’s, WVU’s Amy Bieski added a 39.1, and Brittany Vontz’s 8th place finish was the last score above 39.
in the Vault event competition, Seaman and UNC’s Zoya Johnson were first with 9.9s, edging UNH’s Helena Diodati and a 9.875, Talucci and Dani Bryan of PITT and Wright had 9.85s, Courtney Connors and Austyn Fobes of the host Wildcats had 9.825s which were personal bests. This tied them with their teammate Chelsea Steinberg, Pitt’s Meaghan Biros, and WVU’s Tina Maloney.
On the Uneven Bars, Evans took first picking up a 9.9, with Adams and Wright scoring 9.875s, Diodati, Kaitlin Joseph of UMD, and Seaman all had 9.850s. Diane Grey’s last bar routine in Lundholm netted her a 9.825, her teammate Katie Lawrence had one as well, Maryland’s Kesley Cofsky, and NC State’s Jess Panza, and Lauren Deuser, as well as Johnson, and fellow heel Durkac, and… WVU’s Alysha Pretzello all scored that mark as well.
On the nefarious Balance Beam, Nguyen of UNC posted a 9.875 for the win, Steinberg was second scoring 9.85, Talucci, Adams, and Kristina Jacob of UNC third with 9.825s, and WVU’s Kiersten Spoerke and Evans had 9.8s.
Finally on Floor, NC State’s Brooke Barr joined her teammate Seaman in scoring a 9.925 and the pair shared 1st. Their teammate Panza, and Wright had 9.875s. Nguyen added a 9.85, and Adams, NC State’s Brittany Vontz, NC’s Taylor Brown and Evans, and Bieski all had 9.8s.
After the meet numerous EAGL merits were announced including co rookie of the year honors which went to PITT’s Meaghan Biros, and Maryland’s Kesley Cofsky. Christine Nguyen won another EAGL gymnast of the year honor, and her teammate Kara Wright was scholar athlete of the year. North Carolina coach Derek Galvin was named 2010 EAGL coach of the year as well.
Now for many of the gymnasts and teams, all eyes turn to NCAA Regionals.