DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire gymnastics team recorded the fifth highest score in program history to capture the 19th annual EAGL Championship with a score of 196.375 at the Whittemore Center on Saturday afternoon.
UNH, which scored a 49.000 on floor exercise, won its second EAGL title. The Wildcats were also victorious in 2003, which marked the last time the event was held at the Whittemore Center.
The University of Maryland finished as runner up with a mark of 195.700 and was followed by Rutgers University and North Carolina State in a third place tie at 195.275. George Washington University (194.650), University of Pittsburgh (194.175), University of North Carolina (194.150) and Towson University (193.375) rounded out the eight-team event.
Erin Machado (Swansea, Mass.) won the individual floor exercise title with a score of 9.900; the only other Wildcat to earn that distinction was Amy Roberts in 1998. Meghan Pflieger (Barneveld, N.Y.) made the All-Tournament First Team with an all-around score of 39.150. She was also First Team on balance beam (9.850), First Team on floor (9.875) and Second Team on vault (9.750).
After the first rotation, Maryland led with a score of 48.925 on the floor exercise. Leading the Terps were Karen Tang with a score of 9.850, Ebony Walters with a 9.825, and Stephanie Giameo at 9.800.
After the second rotation UNH jumped into first place with its score of 49.175 on the beam. Setting the stage early for the Wildcats were Kayla Gray (Buffalo, N.Y.; 9.875), Pflieger (9.850), Kelsey Aucoin (Double Oak, Texas; 9.850), all First Team members. Adrienne Hill (Midlothian, Va; 9.825) earned Second Team honors.
UNH reclaimed first place with a score of 98.575, courtesy of a 49.400 on floor in the fourth rotation. Machado was the top performer for the Wildcats with a 9.900. Right after was a quartet of UNH gymnasts earning First Team with a 9.875 score; they were Hannah Barile (Sinking Spring, Pa.), Jannelle Minichiello (Tewksbury, Mass.), Pflieger and Erika Rudiger (Slidell, La.). Aucoin was named to the Second Team with a 9.825.
New Hampshire returned to first place with a total of 147.450 concluding the sixth rotation on the vault with a team score of 48.875. Aucoin earned the top slot for the Wildcats in their rotation at a 9.825, followed by a 9.800 from Barile. Both were named to the First Team. Rudiger, Hill and Pflieger each recorded a 9.750 to earn Second Team.
UNH rose to the top on the bars totaling a 48.925 in the last rotation of the competition to accumulate 196.375 points overall. Brodie earned a high score of 9.825, while Barile and Rudiger fell in right behind at 9.800. All three were named to the Second Team.
UNH earned EAGL's automatic bid to the NCAA Regional Championships. The Wildcats will learn their seeding and which site they are headed to during the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Selection Show, exclusively on NCAA.com on Monday, March 24 at 3 p.m. For more information on the UNH gymnastics program, visit www.unhwildcats.com.