Gymnastics: WVU Enters GymInfo Poll at No. 21

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • January 16, 2012 01:45 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following two solid season-opening meets at the WVU Coliseum, the West Virginia University gymnastics team is ranked No. 21 in the first GymInfo Poll of the 2012 season.

The Mountaineers (2-1, 2-0 EAGL) were not ranked in the coaches’ preseason poll but did receive votes. Today’s rankings are based on season averages, with WVU boasting a 194.263 team average.

Today’s ranking is the Mountaineers’ first since its No. 24 ranking on Feb. 21, 2011; WVU concluded the 2011 season ranked No. 36 in the nation.

Not every ranked team has competed in two meets, and in those cases, the squad’s ranking is based on its lone team score.

“We’re happy to be ranked within the nation’s top 25, but we know we are good enough to be ranked higher,” says coach Jason Butts. “This No. 21 ranking is a good launching point for one of our top goals – a spot in the top 18 at season’s end and a top-three placement at one of the six NCAA Regional Championships.”

WVU’s floor lineup ranks within the nation’s top 10 and opens the season at No. 9 with a 48.975 average. Additionally, the Mountaineers rank No. 16 on vault (48.9), No. 18 on beam (48.5) and No. 37 on bars (47.888).

Sophomore Hope Sloanhoffer owns three national top 50 rankings. The Cornwall, N.Y., native, and the reigning East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Gymnast of the Week, ranks No. 20 on vault (9.875), No. 25 in the all-around (39.063) and No. 39 on floor (9.825).

Senior Tina Maloney owns two national rankings, with the Hanover, Ind., native checking in at No. 39 on floor (9.825) and No. 47 in the all-around (38.713).

The Mountaineers are No. 1 regionally on floor; the squad trumps nationally ranked No. 6 Georgia and No. 8 Florida. WVU, regionally ranked No. 4 overall, also ranks No. 3 on vault and beam and No. 6 on bars.

All six gymnasts that compete floor for WVU own a regional ranking, with Sloanhoffer and Maloney tied at No. 7. Juniors Kaylyn Millick and Alaska Richardson are tied at No. 14 (9.8), while sophomore Makenzie Bristol ranks No. 21 (9.763) and junior Chelsea Goldschrafe ranks No. 25 (9.725).

The Mountaineers also are well represented in the beam rankings, with Sloanhoffer pacing the team at No. 9 (9.788). Freshman Beth Deal, the EAGL Rookie of the Week, ranks No. 13 (9.775), while Millick ranks No. 17 (9.75) following her season debut on the apparatus on Jan. 15. Also ranked on beam are sophomore Amanda Carpenter at No. 21 (9.675) and Maloney at No. 24 (9.6).

On vault, Sloanhoffer ranks No. 3, with freshman Dayah Haley checking in at No. 14 (9.775) and sophomore Bethany Yurko earning the No. 22 (9.725) ranking.

Millick is the only Mountaineer to earn a bars ranking and is ranked No. 24 (9.675).

Sloanhoffer and Maloney are ranked No. 5 and No. 7, respectively, in the all-around.

WVU is the top-ranked team in the EAGL on vault, beam and floor. The squad, ranked No. 2 overall behind NC State (194.363), also ranks No. 5 on bars.

Sloanhoffer is the league’s No. 1-ranked all-around gymnast and also is No. 1 on vault. Additionally, she ranks No. 2 on beam and floor. Maloney also is ranked No. 2 on floor and is No. 4 in the all-around.

WVU has four representatives on the beam and floor rankings. On beam, Deal ranks No. 3, while Millick is No. 7 and Carpenter is No. 10. Millick and Richardson are tied at No. 7 on floor. Additionally, Haley ranks No. 8 on vault.

The Mountaineers are coming off a 193.425-191.65 win over EAGL foe Rutgers on Jan. 15 at the Coliseum; the victory pushed WVU’s consecutive win streak over the Scarlet Knights to 51.

WVU opens its road schedule at Bowling Green on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m., at Anderson Arena.