DURHAM, N.H. –Junior Ali Carr (Chelmsford, Mass.) won the vault with a personal-best score of 9.85, and sophomore Austyn Fobes (Howell, N.J.) set a personal best with a 9.85 in winning the uneven bars to ignite the UNH gymnastics team's triumph at the annual UNH Invitational on Saturday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats, who improved to 7-3 on the season, totaled 194.65 points to edge out Michigan State University, which came in second with 193.425 points, third-place Brown University (191.5) and fourth-place Alaska Anchorage (190.475).
"Even though we won, it wasn't our best meet of the season," head coach Gail Goodspeed said. "This is the first meet that I call a four-ring circus, and I definitely think tonight that was a factor. You have the stay focused, and you have to stay zoned in on your own team. The music was loud, everything was going on with four teams competing at once, so it had an effect."
Carr led New Hampshire's team victory on vault, followed by senior co-captain Chelsea Steinberg (Ridgewood, N.J.), who took second place with a 9.825. Freshman Hannah Barile (Sinking Spring, Pa.) and sophomore Courtney Connors (Buffalo, N.Y.) tied for fifth place with matching scores of 9.75, as the Wildcats compiled a meet-leading 48.825 on the apparatus.
Fobes placed first on bars with a flawless routine, sticking her landing en route to individual victory. Junior Danielle Reibold (Horsham, Pa.) came in third with a clean, crisp routine for a 9.775. Other notable performances were turned in by senior co-captain Katie Lawrence (Lyme, Conn.) and Carr, who tied for sixth at 9.725. UNH took second on the apparatus with a team tally of 48.425.
The 'Cats swept the placements on balance beam. Reibold's poised routine scored a 9.8, tying senior teammate Katie Caliendo (Manorville, NY.) for the high score. Steinberg had a strong finish to earn a 9.775 for third place, as UNH won the event with a 48.45.
The Wildcats finished the meet strong with an impressive showing on floor exercise, with Steinberg (9.85) displaying non-stop energy to win the apparatus. Connors, who put on a unique tumbling routine, and junior Tasia Percevecz (Fountain Hills, Ariz.), who performed a powerful routine, each earned a 9.8 to establish personal bests and tie for second place. The team score 48.95 was UNH's top mark of the meet and easily the best of the four teams competing.
"I think that we're getting cleaner in everything that we're doing on floor," Goodspeed said. "We are finishing our dance elements and tumbling without deductions, and that's been the difference."
Steinberg was the all-around champion with a score of 38.8, fending off Brown's duo of Emily Lutfey (38.775) and Carli Wiesenfeld (38.250).
UNH travels to West Virginia University for a quad meet featuring the Mountaineers, the No.1 University of Florida and George Washington University on Sunday, Feb. 20, beginning at 1 p.m.
The final home meet of the season at Lundholm Gym is scheduled for Monday, March 7, at 7 p.m. against Brown University and Central Michigan University. For tickets to Senior Day, call (603) 862-4000 x 5 or CLICK HERE.