DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire gymnastics team hit for its second-highest score of the season, totaling 195.225 points on Monday night at Lundholm Gymnasium to place second in a three-team meet won by Central Michigan University. Brown University placed third in UNH's final home meet of the season.
UNH's record moves to 10-7 on the season, with one more regular season quad-meet scheduled for Friday, March 11, at the University of Arizona (with Brigham Young University and Texas Woman's University) prior to the EAGL Championships, being hosted by George Washington University on March 19.
The Wildcats burst out of the gates quickly on vault, where Ali Carr (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Chelsea Steinberg (Ridgewood, N.J.) both hit for scores of 9.85, tying for second place and helping UNH collect 48.825 points on that apparatus. The score tied a personal best for Carr and a season high for Steinberg. CMU scored highest on the event with a 49.175; Brown settled for third place by virtue of a 48.275.
The 'Cats kept up their momentum on uneven bars, where four gymnasts stuck their dismounts to lead UNH to a season-high 49.225 in that event. Austyn Fobes (Howell, N.J.) led the way with a personal-best 9.95 to lead all gymnasts, followed by Katie Lawrence (Lyme, Conn.) and Danielle Reibold (Horsham, Pa.), who tallied matching scores of 9.85 to tie their personal bests and finish fifth. The 'Cats were edged by the Chippewas' 49.3, while Brown scored a third-place 48.375.
In the third rotation, New Hampshire stumbled on balance beam, compiling a cumulative 48.05 to finish third on that apparatus and slip into second place overall. Steinberg, in her final home meet, hit her set for a season-high 9.85, and fellow senior co-captain Lawrence took second place with a 9.825. But Brown scored highest on beam with a 48.8, followed by Central Michigan's 48.425.
"We started out really strong, but I was really disappointed with our beam," head coach Gail Goodspeed said. "This is a team that scored higher than No. 24 on beam last week, so I'm not happy with throwing away a win here."
The Wildcats responded emphatically with an outstanding floor exercise performance, posting a season-high 49.125 to get the better of CMU (48.8) and Brown (48.225). Senior Katie Caliendo (Manorville, N.Y.) closed out her home career in style with a personal-best 9.875 to share the top mark with Fobes, who matched her career high.
Steinberg finished as the all-around runner-up with a 39.3, second to Central Michigan's Andrea de la Garza (39.4).
"There were some real highlights," added Goodspeed. "I'm really proud of Katie Lawrence, who had a great meet despite not feeling well the entire night."
With Lawrence, Caliendo and Steinberg concluding their home careers, Goodspeed commented on the legacy the senior trio will leave behind.
"They've handed down a strong work ethic, a desire and drive to be the best that you can be."
UNH travels to the University of Arizona for a Friday night quad-meet that also features Brigham Young University and Texas Woman's University at 9 p.m. For more information on the UNH gymnastics team, visit www.unhwildcats.com.