DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire women's gymnastics team posted a rare tie against rival Penn State on UNH's Senior Day, scoring a 196.375 at home on Saturday. The score is UNH's highest score this season, and ranks third in Wildcat history. The 'Cats trailed Penn State going into the last rotation, but executed on floor to come up with the tie.
Sophomore Amanda Hall (Bremerton, Wash.) was the winner of the all-around competition, scoring a UNH record of 39.475. The score tops the record of 39.45 that Hall set herself last year versus Towson. Freshman Heather Moore (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) set a new season high with her second-place finish in the all-around. Moore beat her original high score of 39.175, posting a 39.3 in Saturday's meet.
Starting the night on vault, UNH got things going from the beginning, posting a total score of 49.1 in the event. Hall won the event with her consistent season-high tie of 9.9. Moore tied for the second-place title with her own season-high vaulting performance of 9.875. Vanessa James (Malden, Mass.) rounded out UNH's top three gymnasts, posting a 9.8 and capturing a fourth-place finish.
Moving on to the bars, UNH found it hard to keep up their early momentum counting one fall on the event. Senior co-captain Jen Dickson (Salisbury, Md.) was the top performer for the Wildcats, tying for the first-place accolade with a 9.9. Sophomore Mariana Peña Trestini (Valencia, Venezuela) scored a 9.85 to tie for fifth, while Hall scored a 9.825 to finish in eighth.
The Wildcats began their third rotation on the beam, trailing Penn State 97.775-98.325. Dickson and Peña Trestini shared the first-place title with matching 9.9's on the event. Freshman Jamie deMello (Milton, Mass.) and Hall tied for fifth, posting 9.85's. Due to a counting fall for Penn State on beam, the 'Cats were able to make up the deficit in the score and heading into the final rotation, the scores were tied at 147.05.
On floor, Peña Trestini posted her second-consecutive 9.925 in the event. The score matches her season-high set last weekend versus Rhode Island, and tied her for the first-place title on floor. Hall and James also contributed high scores with their pair of 9.9's and tie for third. Moore was part of a three-way tie for fifth with her own 9.875.
The tie sets UNH's record at 9-4-1, and was only the second tie in head coach Gail Goodspeed's history of coaching.
UNH honored four graduating seniors before the meet's start: Crystal Beak (DeWitt, N.Y.), Dickson, Mellory Giberson (Bingham, Maine), and Brie McNamara (Haymarket, Va.). The Wildcats also honored Goodspeed for her 25 years of coaching, including her amazing record of 24 winning seasons in her career.
The 'Cats return to action on Sunday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at North Carolina State. The meet is UNH's last regular season meet before the EAGL Championships at Pittsburgh on March 20. The EAGLS meet begins at 6 p.m.