Pair of powerhouses set pace in Pitt
The Rutgers Gymnastics team travelled to Pittsburgh to participate in a competitive quad-meet against host school Pittsburgh, powerhouse Iowa State and Brockport as the Scarlet Knights finished third with a score of 189.300, almost six points behind first place Pittsburgh.
Prior to the meet, it seemed a foregone conclusion that No. 13 Iowa State would win the contest. Despite a score of 195.175, Pitt edged out the Cyclones with a 195.125 final score.
"Pitt just had the meet of their lives," said head coach Chrystal Chollet-Norton. "They were the home team so they had the crowd behind them and were able to choose the rotation."
Chollet-Norton acknowledged that the scoring did not reflect the performance her team put forth. While she did not elaborate, Chollet-Norton also felt that the order set by Pittsburgh was not beneficial to her team's success.
"All I'll say is it is hard to be first on [beam]," Chollet-Norton. "The scores did not represent what my team did."
It is rare that a competition of no particular significance beyond its intrinsic value to the team has a truly inspirational side to it. Senior Prishani Seebadri returned to competition after two years of suffering serious knee surgeries and constant rehab that put her career in jeopardy.
In her first meet back, Seebadri showed the form that made her loss the last two seasons so critical. Seebardi's score of 9.650 led the Knights and while also earning her a top-10 finish.
"It was neat to have her back," Chollet-Norton said. "We didn't have a great set on bars, and she was able to bring it back for us."
Senior Laura Sevarino led the Knights on vault with a 9.725. It was her season-high and placed her in the top-10. Freshman Jenna Zito and sophomore Danae Johnson did not fall far behind her with scores of 9.700 and 9.650, respectively. Freshman Nicole Romano also achieved an impressive performance, finishing with a career high 9.625.
Sevarino helped lead RU in floor exercises, tying with junior Kiah Banfield with a 9.725. The two tied for eighth place.
Zito continued her trend of leading the Knights in one or more events, pacing RU in beam with a score of 9.650. Junior Leigh Heinbaugh was not far behind, however, posting a strong 9.550.
Zito had yet another impressive all-around performance that led the team. Her score of 38.350 placed her fourth overall.
"We scored a 189 and we are disappointed because we have such high standards now," Chollet-Norton said. "We had four points of mistakes so I think we can be a 192-193 team going forward."