DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women’s gymnastics team beat EAGL-rival Rutgers University (191.575-185.275) to open their 2009 campaign with a win. The Wildcats either had two gymnasts tie for first place, or finished 1-2, in every event.
Sophomore Katie Caliendo (Manorville, N.Y.) and senior captain Justine Turner (Salem, N.H.) tied for first place on the vault with a score of 9.775. That mark tied Caliendo’s personal record. Junior Helena Diodati (Scarborough, Maine), who competed at last year’s NCAA Northeast Regional Championship on vault, took third place with a mark of 9.750. In her first collegiate meet and event, freshman Danielle Reibold (Horsham, Penn.) took fifth place with a 9.650.
Reibold then went on to tie for first place with junior Diane Grey (Spring, Texas), on the uneven bars, sharing a score of 9.7.
Junior Taryn LaFountain, who also went to the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships last season, tied for first place with sophomore Chelsea Steinberg (Ridgewood, N.J.) with a 9.825 on beam.
LaFountain also finished first on floor with a score of 9.850. Competing in her first UNH meet after sitting out last season to due to NCAA transfer rules, junior Julie Sauchuk (Peabody, Mass.) captured second place with a 9.775. Junior Keeley Smith (University Place, Wash.) and Turner tied for third, with scores of 9.625.
Other gymnasts making their Wildcat debut were freshmen Ali Carr (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Katie Lawrence (Lyme, Conn.), both competing on bars.
The Wildcats will travel to Pittsburgh next week (Jan. 17) in a meet with the Panthers, Air Force and Bridgeport. The UNH gymnasts will be the host of their next home meet on Jan. 31 vs. North Carolina. That meet begins at 7 p.m. in Lundholm Gymnasium and tickets are available at www.unhwildcats.com.