DURHAM, NH - The University of New Hampshire women's gymnastics team captured their first ever East Atlantic Gymnastics League Championship with a score of196.750 in front of a home crowd at the Whittemore Center Arena with 2,456 fans on hand, a new league record. UNH's score surpasses the previous team record of 196.675 set on March 8 versus Towson. The score also sets a new EAGL record breaking the last year's score set by North Carolina (196.425).
Junior Tara Phillips (Spring, Texas) scored the meets only perfect 10.0 on vault to be named EAGL Vault Champion, while freshman Amanda Hall's (Bremerton, Wash.) 9.925 was good enough for third place. She took third in the all-around competition. Head Coach Gail Goodspeed was named EAGL Coach-of-the-Year for the first time in her career.
The Wildcats put it all on the line as they began the meet on the floor exercise with solid performances from all six gymnasts. Hall lead the way for the 'Cats with a 9.825.
New Hampshire took control of the meet on vault. Phillips' 10.00, only the third in New Hampshire history, paved the way, as the Wildcats set a new EAGL team score with a 49.475. Sophomore Vanessa James (Malden, Mass) followed Phillips in order, putting up an impressive 9.90, a personal best, while Hall posted a 9.925 tying a personal best to finish the rotation.
On bars for their third rotation, New Hampshire had solid performances, by senior captain Michelle Harley (Collegeville, Pa.) and freshman Marianna Pena~Testini, (Valencia, Venezuela) who both earned a 9.875. The team recorded a 49.075 on bars, to keep it just ahead of the North Carolina State and University of North Carolina heading into the final rotation.
UNH again performed with confidence and concentration on beam as the team set a school record with a 49.325. Sophomores Jayne Propert (Bradley Beach, N.J.) and Vanessa Berrios (Long Pond, Pa.) both scored a 9.900 to lead the Wildcats and help capture the team's first championship.
The Wildcats will have to wait until after Monday to see if they will be competing in the NCAA Regional Tournament on April 12.