Gymnastics Sets Floor Exercise Record in Quad-Meet at No. 15 Penn State

Kayla Gray

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The University of New Hampshire gymnastics team scored a 49.425 on floor exercise to shatter the University record en route to a 194.225 and a runner-up finish at Saturday afternoon's quad-meet, hosted and won by No. 15 Penn State at Rec Hall.

The Wildcats upped their record to 15-6 on the season with wins against Penn (193.000) and Temple (189.650) and a setback against the Nittany Lions (196.975).

The 'Cats opened the meet with a rough start on uneven bars, but the end of the lineup came through when Austyn Fobes (Howell, N.J.) stuck her dismount and scored a team-leading 9.825 for a share of fifth place. Jen Aucoin (Mullica Hill, N.J.) tallied a 9.775 for ninth place as UNH totaled a 48.200.

The Wildcats' struggles continued in the second rotation, which resulted in a 48.000 on balance beam. Kayla Gray (Buffalo, N.Y.) headlined that apparatus by nailing a beautiful routine with a personal-best-tying 9.900 for the second straight meet, which allowed her to tie Penn State's Sharaya Musser for the top spot.

Things turned around dramatically in the third rotation when four Wildcats set or matched personal-best floor exercise scores during the record-setting rotation. Gray led the way with a career-high 9.925 to finish in a four-way deadlock for first place with a trio of Nittany Lion gymnasts: Musser, Madison Merriam and Lexi Carroll. Fobes, who equaled her personal best for the second consecutive week with a 9.900, tied for fifth place. Hannah Barile (Sinking Spring, Pa.) and Jannelle Minichiello (Tewksbury, Mass.) scored matching marks of 9.875, with Barile tying her career high and Minichiello establishing a personal best to share seventh place.

Barile hit a dynamic vault and tied a personal best for the fourth time this season with a 9.825 to finish fourth and pace New Hampshire's efforts in the final rotation. Courtney Connors (Buffalo, N.Y.) contributed a 9.750 to nab a share of seventh place as the 'Cats compiled a team vault score of 48.600.

Musser was crowned the all-around champion with a 39.525, with Fobes (39.250) and Gray (39.150) taking second and third, respectively.

UNH concludes the regular season with a quad-meet at No. 17 Kent State on Friday, March 15, at 7 p.m. The Wildcats will also compete against Southeast Missouri State and Cornell at the MAC Center. For more information, visit www.unhwildcats.com.

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