DURHAM, N.H. – The UNH gymnastics team opened up the 2011 season by defeating East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) rival Rutgers University, 194.5-191.875, on Sunday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium. Chelsea Steinberg (Ridgewood, N.J.) earned the all-around championship with a score of 38.95.
Steinberg, who was selected as the meet's Katie Baldwin Expression Award winner, finished first in vault (9.8), second on balance beam (9.725) and tied for fourth on floor exercise (9.75) to pace the Wildcats (1-0).
Austyn Fobes (Howell, N.J.) established a personal best with a 37.925 all-around performance, highlighted by a career-high 9.825 on bars, where she tied teammate Danielle Reibold (Horsham, Pa.) for the top spot, and a personal-best 9.875 in winning the floor event. Reibold complemented her shared individual victory on bars by winning the balance beam outright with a 9.8.
"It was nice to come out strong in front of the home crowd to win our season opener over a talented Rutgers team," head coach Gail Goodspeed said. "We received strong performances from our veteran leaders and saw some of our younger competitors step up with fine efforts in the victory."
UNH jumped out to a fast start, outscoring Rutgers (0-1) on vault, 48.675-48.175. In addition to Steinberg's victory in the event, Katie Caliendo (Manorville, N.Y.) captured second place with a 9.75, while Jillian Hudson (Sparkill, N.Y.), making her collegiate debut, tied Fobes for third at 9.725.
Jen Aucoin (Mullica Hill, N.J.) set a personal best with a 9.8 on bars, matching Ali Carr (Chelmsford, Mass.) for third in the event, behind the co-winners: Fobes and Reibold. The 'Cats totaled 48.925 points on bars, bettering the Scarlet Knights' 47.65.
New Hampshire owned the top three scores on beam, too, with Jannelle Minichiello (Tewksbury, Mass.) notching a 9.65 for third on the event, behind Reibold and Steinberg. UNH took the team nod on beam, 47.975-47.75
Courtney Connors (Buffalo, N.Y.) set a personal best by scoring a 9.775 on floor, knotted with freshman Erin Machado (Swansea, Mass.) for second place. The Wildcats came away with a 48.925-48.3 advantage in that event.
Jenna Zito (38.425) and Luisa Marie Leal (38.00) finished second and third, respectively, in all-around to lead Rutgers.
UNH travels to the University of Maryland for a meet against the Terrapins and the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday, Jan. 15, beginning at 4 p.m.