DURHAM, N.H.-- The University of New Hampshire women's gymnastics team improved its season mark to 2-0 with a 192.125-184.325 victory over the University of Rhode Island in front of 387 fans at Lundholm Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats, who improved on their first week's score of 190.600, recorded the top three all-around totals of the meet. Placing first was junior Jennifer Dickson (Salisbury, Md.) who recorded a four-event total of 38.825, just shy of her career mark of 38.950. Placing second overall in the all-around was senior captain Bethany Wagner (Bound Brook, N.J.) who notched a four-event score of 38.800, which was her first-ever all-around effort as a member of the Wildcat program. In third place was junior Michelle Harley (Collegeville, Pa.) who recorded a mark of 37.775.
"It's great to have a senior like Bethany Wagner improve like she has and hit all four events," said 23rd-year head coach Gail Goodspeed. "I was very pleased with our overall team performance. We hit vaulting very well and nailed our routines on bars. Bars has been the event we have struggled the most with in practice. It was nice to see us put it together for competition. We hit only 50 percent of our routines on beam and we are much better than that. It should be a strong event for us."
UNH, which led the meet through every rotation by a commanding margin, began with a solid vaulting performance and was led in that event by Wagner's first-place overall judgement of 9.7. Sophomore Tara Phillips (Houston, Texas) was second overall with a 9.5 and Dickson placed third with a 9.525.
The Wildcats benefited from a pair of 9.8 scores on the uneven bars, as Dickson and sophomore Crystal Beak (DeWitt, N.Y.) tied for first place. The 9.8 was a personal-best for Beak, who also recorded a 9.75 in the event at Rutgers.
In beam, the 'Cats recorded their lowest event total as a team, but had a couple of key performances from Dickson with a 9.775 for first place overall and from freshman Michelle Totz (Whitby, Ont.) who was second overall with a judgement of 9.7, season-high for her. Wagner also had a personal best of 9.65 in the event for third place to help the 'Cats capture the top three spots.
UNH finished the meet in the floor exercise and once again took the top three spots. Wagner led the team with a 9.8, followed by Dickson and senior Katie Revis (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) who tied for second with scores of 9.725.
The UNH women's gymnastics team will return to action on Jan. 25 at Kentucky. That meet begins at 7:30 p.m. The next home meet will be the Fox Run Invitational on Feb. 2. That event begins at 7 p.m. in the Whittemore Center.