STATE COLLEGE, PA.- The No. 6-seeded University of New Hampshire women’s gymnastics team placed where it was seeded, sixth, at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships held on April 3 in Rec Hall on the campus of Penn State University.
The top two teams, Georgia and Michigan, advanced to the NCAA National Championship meet, which will be held on April 15-17 at UCLA.
Georgia won the meet with a team score of 197.525, followed by Michigan (196.375), Iowa State, (196.15), Penn State (196.075), Missouri (194.4) and the Wildcats (194.125).
The Wildcats, by the luck of the draw, got its normal home rotation, starting on vault, followed by a bye, then bars, a bye, then beam and finishing with the floor exercise.
In vault, which has been one of UNH’s best events in 2004, the Wildcats hit all six of their attempts and completed the event with an impressive mark of 49.05, just shy of their season-high mark of 49.1. Leading the was for the ‘Cats was sophomore all-arounder Amanda Hall (Bremerton, Wash.) and freshman all-arounder Heather Moore (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) as each posted team-highs of 9.85. Only one UNH score that counted was below 9.8 in the vault.
Following a bye, UNH moved to the uneven bars, suffered a fall, but did not count it in the scoring, as the lowest score drops out. Leading the team in the event was senior all-arounder Jen Dickson (Salisbury, Md.), who posted a 9.725. Also performing well was sophomore Mariana Pena Trestini (Valencia,Venezuela) with a judgement of 9.7.
At this point in the meet, all six teams had completed two events and UNH was sitting in fifth place with a two-event score of 97.35. The leader was Georgia with a 98.75, followed by Penn State (98.625), Michigan (98.4), Iowa State (97.55). the Wildcats (97.35) and Missouri (97.075).
UNH immediately moved to balance beam after bars and the Wildcats counted a fall in this event but posted some solid performances at the top of their rotation. Leading the way was Hall with a top team score of 9.825, followed closely by Dickson with a 9.8.
At this point in the meet UNH was holding off Missouri and the team’s performance on floor would determine if UNH would finish higher than it was originally seeded. Missouri performed well on vault in rotation five of the meet with their best event score of the night (49.25), putting pressure on UNH to perform extremely well in the final rotation on floor. After three events UNH recorded a team total of 145.3, while Missouri finished the meet in the fifth rotation with a final team score of 194.4
As it turned out, UNH fell short of Missouri, despite hitting all six of their routines. Leading the team on floor was Dickson, posting a 9.825. Hall, Pena Trestini and Moore all were not far behind with high scores of 9.8.
Hall finished with a 39.1 in the all-around to lead UNH, while Dickson checked in with a 39.075 and Moore finished with a four-event total of 38.525.