RALEIGH, N.C.-- The University of New Hampshire women's gymnastics team finished second in a tri-team meet hosted by North Carolina State on Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats scored a season-high 196.45, narrowly losing to the host team's score of 196.8, but easily beating out Yale's 191.05.
Freshman Heather Moore (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) was the top all-around competitor for the 'Cats scoring a 39.1. Her score was good for third place, while sophomore Amanda Hall (Bremerton, Wash.) finished just behind her teammate, scoring a 39.0.
Beginning the meet on bars, the 'Cats had a rough time getting started. Sophomore Mariana Peña Trestini (Valencia, Venezuela) pulled through to lead UNH with her score of 9.875 and a fifth-place finish. Senior co-captain Jen Dickson (Salisbury, Md.) finished right behind scoring a 9.85 in the event. Hall and Moore tied for eighth with contributions of 9.775.
The Wildcats may have been down, but they certainly were not out. UNH had another successful afternoon on vault, scoring an impressive 49.075 in the event. Freshman Jamie deMello (Milton, Mass.) tied North Carolina State's Rachel Katz for the first-place finish in the event, scoring a season-high 9.9. UNH also received solid contributions from Hall, who added a 9.85, and junior Vanessa James (Malden, Mass.), who scored a 9.825. They finished in third and fourth, respectively.
"We started out shaky on bars, but we were able to really put things together for the last three events," head coach Gail Goodspeed said. Moving on to the floor for their third rotation, the 'Cats had one of their best event scores in the history of the program, scoring a 39.35 that was just shy of the 39.4 record. Hall won the crown with a career-high 9.95, while Peña Trestini ended in second with a 9.925. Despite her impressive score, her teammates and coaches were convinced that she deserved a 10.
"Her routine was the best I have seen in my career," assistant coach Beth Aparo said.
James (9.85) and Moore (9.825) were the third and fourth-best Wildcat gymnasts on floor, while Vanessa Berrios' (Long Pond, Pa.) 9.8 rounded out the top five.
The Wildcats were far from tired with their stellar performance on beam to end the meet. Jayne Propert (Bradley Beach, N.J.) was the first gymnast up for the 'Cats, setting the tone for the rest of the event. Propert scored an impressive career-high of 9.925, taking home the first-place accolade. Dickson ended the night in third with her 9.875, while Peña Trestini tied for fourth with a 9.85.
Goodspeed was proud of her team's performance on the road saying, "This is the first time all year that we haven't had to count a fall in any event. It's hard to win on somebody else's turf, but I think we proved that UNH and NC State are equal teams."
The Wildcats return to action Saturday, March 20 at Pittsburgh when they compete in the EAGL Championships at 6 p.m.