DURHAM, N.H.- Down by .225 in their final event, the University of New Hampshire women’s gymnastics team put on a showcase on the floor exercise to come back and win against the University of North Carolina, 196.25-195.95. Not only do the Wildcats remain undefeated on the season (7-0), but UNH’s score goes into the record books as the fifth-highest team score in school history.
Starting off on vault, junior Helena Diodati (Scarborough, Maine) set a personal record with a score of 9.925 to earn first place. Diodati also claimed a spot in the record books, as her mark ties for eighth place in UNH’s top vault individual scores. Senior Justine Turner (Salem, N.H.) tied for fourth place by tying her personal record of 9.875. Sophomore Katie Caliendo (Manorville, N.Y.) and freshman Ali Carr (Chelmsford, Mass.) tied for sixth place with impressive scores of 9.825. Carr’s previous personal best on vault was a 9.5.
Sophomore Katie Lawrence (Lyme, Conn.), junior Keeley Smith (University Place, Wash.) and freshman Danielle Reibold (Horsham, Penn.) all set personal records on the night as they each scored a 9.8 to tie for third place on bars.
On beam, Caliendo and junior Taryn LaFountain (Utica, N.Y.) tied for first place with scores of 9.85. The score was also a personal record for Caliendo. Sophomore Chelsea Steinberg (Ridgewood, N.J.) posted another solid performance on the apparatus, earning third place with a 9.825. Turner tied for fourth, with a mark of 9.8.
Heading into the final rotation the Wildcats were behind and were buoyed by outstanding performances by juniors Smith and Julie Sauchuk (Peabody, Mass.) who both set personal records on floor. The teammates each scored a 9.9 to tie for second place with Krista Jasper of UNC. Tar Heel Christine Ngyuyen earned first place in the event with a 9.925. LaFountain tied a career high 9.875 to earn fifth place.
Diodati competed in the all-around for the second time in her career and for the second week in a row. Her total score of 39.200 earned second place, and was an improvement over her previous mark of 38.75.
The ‘Cats next travel to North Carolina State for a quad meet, before returning home for the UNH-Fox Run Invitational on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in Lundholm Gym. The Invitational brings in Air Force, the University of Bridgeport and Yale University. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com.