|Mariana Pena Trestini|
PISCATAWAY, N.J.-- The University of New Hampshire women's gymnatics team placed fourth out of eight teams on Saturday evening at the annual East Atlantic Gymnastics League championships held on the campus of Rutgers University.
UNH completed the meet with a score of 194.45. The winner of the meet was the University of North Carolina with a 195.325, follwed by NC State (195.075) and West Vriginia (194.9).
The highlight of the evening for the Wildcats was the performance of senior all-arounder Mariana Pena Trestini (Valencia, Venezuela) as she was the EAGL champion on beam with a season-best 9.925 on the event. She also performed the all-around for only the second time this season and led UNH with a third-place finish and a season-best mark of 39.125. She tied for sixth on bars (9.825) and also led UNH in the floor exercise with a score of 9.75 for 17th place.
Senior all-arounder Amanda Hall (Bremerton, Wash.) was not far behind with a sixth-place ranking overall in the all-around with a four-even score of 39.05. Hall tied for second overall in the vault with a score of 9.85 and freshman Justine Turner (Salem, N.H.) was fifth with a score of 9.85. Hall was also second on bars (9.85).
UNH head coach Gail Goodspeed was especially excited about the team's effort on beam, as UNH nailed all six of its routines for the first time this season, suffering no falls. "I was so proud of this team's effort on beam with no falls and it was great to see Mariana finish first. "I think the team was so excited with its effort on beam that they did not perform well on floor as they have all season and that was disappointing."
UNH was hurt in vault when junior vault specialist Jen Jones (Billerica, Mass.) suffered a slight knee injury but Goodspeed says they will do all they can to get one of the Wildcats' top vaulters back in action for the Northeast Regionals in a few weeks.
The Wildcats are assured to be one of six teams to compete at the Northeast Regionals, which will be held at the University of Michigan on Sat., April 8. The NCAA will announce the official list of teams in the regionals on Monday morning.