March 23, 2010

EAGL GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS COME TO DURHAM ON MARCH 27TH

DURHAM, N.H. -- The 2010 Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Championship will be held this Saturday, March 27 (2 p.m.) at the University of New Hampshire's Lundholm Gymnasium. UNH compiled a 12-3 overall record this season that included a 5-0 mark against EAGL competition.

The EAGL is comprised of UNH, George Washington University, University of Maryland, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State, University of Pittsburgh, Rutgers University and West Virginia University.

UNH, which recorded a season-high score of 195.200 last weekend at Texas Woman's University, opened the year with a victory at Rutgers and then defeated Ball State, Utah State and Yale in the UNH Invitational. In league action, the Wildcats also recorded home wins against Pitt, Maryland and N.C. State and upended George Washington on the road.

New Hampshire is ranked 34th overall -- fourth highest among EAGL representatives -- in this week's national rankings with a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 194.390. Including last week's meet at Texas Woman's, UNH recorded a score of 195.000 or higher four times and also tallied a 194.975 in another meet.

UNH is the second-highest ranked EAGL team in both the floor exercise (#21 overall) and balance beam (#30 overall), and the Wildcats recorded the highest team score of any league team in the beam (49.100) and uneven bars (49.300).

Chelsea Steinberg (Ridgewood, N.J.), an EAGL Gymnast of the Week honoree this year, is one of the 'Cats to watch this weekend. She is UNH's top all-around gymnast and is ranked 76th in the nation in the all-around with an RQS of 38.755 and season-high score of 39.350. Steinberg also leads the team in floor exercise (9.840 RQS/9.900 high score), beam (9.820/9.875) and vault (9.820/9.850).

Helena Diodati (Scarborough, Maine) has had another outstanding year. She is tied with Steinberg as the team's highest-ranking gymnast in the vault (9.820 RQS/9.875 high score) and is the second-ranked 'Cat on the bars (9.790/9.925).

Taryn LaFountain (Utica, N.Y.) and Julie Sauchuk (Peabody, Mass.) are tied with Steinberg as the top-ranked 'Cat in the floor and both have a season-high mark of 9.925. Diodati, LaFountain and Sauchuk all received an EAGL Specialist of the Week award this season.

Danielle Reibold (Horsham, Pa.) is UNH's leader in the bars with an RQS of 9.795 and season-high of 9.850.

N.C. State is the highest-ranked EAGL team in this week's national rankings; the Wolfpack are ranked 28th overall with a RQS of 194.725 and a high team score of 196.100. They are the highest-ranked EAGL team in both the floor exercise (#18) and uneven bars (#29).

Maryland is next at 31st with an RQS of 194.640 and high mark of 195.825 -- the Terrapins are the highest-ranked EAGL team in the beam (28th) -- and is followed by West Virginia (194.550/195.650) at 33rd. UNH is next at 34 with UNC at 37th (193.855/196.225-- the highest by any EAGL team in 2010) and Pitt at 39th (193.640/195.175); the Panthers are ranked 19th in the nation in the vault, which is tops among league schools. George Washington (49th place; 192.100/193.650) and Rutgers (57th; 190.500/192.675) round out the EAGL representatives in the national rankings.

Individuals to watch at the EAGL Championship include UNC senior Christine Nguyen (Sugar Land, Texas). She is the top-ranked EAGL gymnast in the all-around at #32 in the nation with an RQS of 39.140 and season-high score of 39.575. Nguyen is also the highest-ranked league competitor in the beam at #43 overall (9.830/9.925) and second-best in the floor at #26 (9.875/9.950).

N.C. State boasts the highest-ranked EAGL student-athlete in both the floor and bars. Senior Taylor Seaman (Greensburg, Pa.) is #26 in the floor (9.880/9.950) and teammate Brooke Barr (Harrisburg, Pa.) is the third-ranked league gymnast in the event at #37 (9.870/9.925); Barr is also the second-ranked EAGL competitor on vault at #41 overall (9.855/9.900). On the bars, freshman Rachel Fincham (Gambrills, Md.) leads the way at #51 (9.835/9.875). Sophomore Jess Panza (New York, N.Y.) is another highly-ranked member of the Wolfpack; she is #51 overall -- third in the league -- in the all-around at 38.980 with a high of 39.325.

Amy Bieski (Nanticoke, Pa.), a junior at West Virginia, is one of the meet's other top all-arounders. She is ranked second in the league with an RQS of 39.080 and a season-high mark of 39.250. Alicia Talucci (Coatesville, Pa.) is a sophomore at Pitt who is the fourth-ranked EAGL gymnast in the all-around at #53 overall (38.960/39.325); she is also the second-highest ranking league competitor in the beam at #48 (9.825/9.900).

On vault, Maryland's Allison Krikorian (Costa Mesa, Calif.), West Virginia's Chelsi Tabor (Beckley, W. Va.) and Pitt's Dani Bryan (Germantown, Md.) are three of the top-ranked EAGL gymnasts. Krikorian leads the way at #26 overall with an RQS of 9.885 and top score of 9.950. Tabor, who also recorded a 9.950, is tied with the aforementioned Barr of N.C. State at #41 while Bryan is 50th (9.850/9.925).

UNH hosted the EAGL Championships in 2003, which also marked the last time that the Wildcats won the title.

Tickets for the EAGL Championships are still available online by clicking here.

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