COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The West Virginia University gymnastics team scored its best road score of the season, earning 195.775 in a second-place finish at No. 18 Maryland’s tri-meet tonight at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md.
The host Terrapins (9-1-1, 6-1-1 EAGL) tallied 196.175 and finished first overall, while Rutgers (7-8, 1-3 EAGL) finished third with a 195.05.
The Mountaineers’ (6-5, 1-1 Big 12) score is their best in a regular-season road meet since scoring 197.4 at Pitt in 2004.
“This is an amazing road score for us, and it will really help our regional qualifying score this season,” says coach Jason Butts. “This is what we came here to do. We took a step in the right direction tonight. I’m proud of each of these girls for fighting back from adversity – we do that every single weekend. Everyone is working hard, and it’s showing. We just have a few little details that we need to fix.”
Senior Kaylyn Millick
won the all-around for the second straight week with a 39.35 showing. The Washington, Pa., native tallied 9.8 or better on all four events, including a first-place finish on bars with a career-best 9.9 mark.
“Kaylyn has worked really hard in the gym, and her hard work is paying off every weekend when she gets in front of a crowd,” says Butts. “She just turns it on. Kaylyn leads the charge for this team every weekend, and it’s great to watch.”
Junior Hope Sloanhoffer
also was strong tonight, as she scored three 9.8s and finished fourth overall with a 39.175.
The Mountaineers opened the meet with their second-best beam rotation of the season, scoring 49.0 and trailing the Terps after one rotation, 49.1-49.0.
Junior Amanda Carpenter
was stellar, as the Lancaster, Pa., native followed a fall in the lineup with a career-best 9.825 routine, good enough for second place. Sloanhoffer opened the lineup with a 9.8, a mark matched by Millick and sophomore Beth Deal
; the trio finished fifth. Sophomore Lia Salzano
also hit for 9.775.
WVU overcame the Terps in the second rotation, scoring 48.975 on floor and pushing its two-event total to 97.975. UMD earned 48.675 on bars for a running score of 97.775.
Senior Alaska Richardson
anchored the lineup with a 9.85 score and finished fifth overall. Millick preceded Richardson on the floor with a 9.825 mark, matching her season-best road score. Freshman Melissa Idell
opened the lineup with a 9.775 score, a tally equaled by Sloanhoffer, while senior Chelsea Goldschrafe
and junior Makenzie Bristol
, competing for the first time this season, each scored 9.75.
The Mountaineers tried to take control of the meet in the third rotation, as they used four marks of 9.8 or better, including two 9.9+ tallies, for a season-best 49.225 mark. Through three events, WVU sat in front of UMD, 147.2-146.75.
“We’ve really worked hard on our vault landings over the last two weeks, and our score reflects that,” says Butts. “Having said that, I know we can land better and score even higher.”
Richardson competed one of the top vaults of her career, scoring a personal-best 9.925 and finishing first overall. Freshman Jaida Lawrence
anchored the lineup with a career-best 9.9 and finished second. Millick placed sixth with a 9.825, while Sloanhoffer tallied 9.8 and finished seventh. Additionally, sophomore Dayah Haley
opened the lineup with a 9.775.
UMD regained its lead and earned the victory in the final rotation, scoring 49.425 on floor to WVU’s 48.575 bars mark.
Millick’s win was the high point for the Mountaineers on bars. Sloanhoffer followed a fall and finished in third place with a 9.8 mark, while Lawrence tallied 9.65 and placed 10th.
Despite the loss, WVU continues to lead the all-time series with UMD, 35-15-1. The Mountaineers remain perfect (54-0) against RU. WVU falls to 1-5 against ranked opponents in 2013.
The Mountaineers return to the WVU Coliseum for the first-ever “Wendy M. Roach Invitational” on Sunday, Feb. 24, against No. 3 Michigan, New Hampshire and Towson at 2 p.m. The invitational, named after former WVU gymnast and current student assistant Nicole Roach’s mother, is a “Pink Meet” to promote breast cancer awareness. All fans are encouraged to wear pink that day.