Knights finish fourth on Streets of Philadelphia
By Kyle Franko
The Rutgers gymnastics team was poised for a breakthrough when it traveled south to Temple for a quad-meet Wednesday night, but instead found its host to be less than gracious sending the Scarlet Knights back to Piscataway winless.
Rutgers finished a distant fourth in the meet with a score of 187.950. Towson (6-0) won the meet with a mark of 192.275. The Tigers won both the vault and bars rotation, scoring 48.375 on the bars placing them nearly a full point ahead of the field.
Host team Temple (5-5) ended with 191.375 points, in second place. This is the second time this season the Owls have defeated RU. Bridgeport (3-5) finished with a score of 190.575 for third place.
"The other teams had a great meet," head coach Chrystal Chollet-Norton said. "Temple had home court and it showed because there was a big crowd and they didn't make mistakes. We're not up to where we want to be, but this team will improve each week — when you fall as many times as we did, you can't win a meet."
Freshman Danae Johnson stood out for the Knights yet again with a career-best 9.750 on the floor exercise. That number tied her for second place in the meet.
"We had an outstanding day on floor," Chollet-Norton said. "We had some new people in the other events and that's why some of the scores were so low, but as a coaching staff we are excited about floor."
Johnson's effort combined with sophomore Kiah Banfield's career-high 9.725 and sophomore Nicole Rose's 9.650 contributed to RU's rotation-winning score of 48.150 on the floor.
"I'm proud of the way that Kiah [Banfield] is getting more experience," Chollet-Norton said. "I expect her vaulting scores to go up as we progress in the season."
Senior Latara Northcutt posted a mark of 36.675 in the all-around for a fourth place finish. Northcutt led the Knights on vault with a score of 9.625 to tie for fifth place in the meet.
Sophomore Maddie Zwiebel competed in the all-around for the first time in her career, but she did not fare as well as her teammate, finishing with a score of 27.475.
The team will be back on the road Saturday night when they travel to Morgantown W.Va., for a daunting tri-meet with West Virginia (2-3), Maryland (4-1) and George Washington (7-1), a team that RU is 1-17 against all-time and already holds two wins over the Knights (3-9) this season.