Season-high score sends off seniors
For most students, Spring Break is a carefree time. Going to a warm location is the sole focus. For the Rutgers gymnastics team, relaxation was not possible, but it was a rewarding break nonetheless. During the week off, the Scarlet Knights participated in two meets, winning one of them.
RU hosted Towson and Yale on March 13 in the final home meet of the season. The Knights did not allow the pressure of giving seniors Alyssa Lewandowski, Prishani Seebadri and Laura Sevarino a good sendoff impact their performance negatively. The entire team rose to the occasion, scoring a 192.675 — its highest score since 2005.
"It was senior night and all the girls wanted to do a great job for the seniors," head coach Chrystal Chollet-Norton said. "I was really nice for the seniors. We had a very good crowd."
Despite experiencing the emotion of competing in the Livingston Recreation Center for the last time, the three seniors all managed to have performances to remember. Sevarino posted a season high of 9.775 on beam and tied her career high of 9.750 on bars en route to a team-leading all around score of 38.575. Seebadri tied a season high score of 9.750 in vault. Lewandowski continued the trend of setting personal bests with a career-high 9.800 in floor exercises.
"I was really happy that the seniors finished their careers at home on a high note," Chollet-Norton said.
The Knights traveled South on March 20 to compete against North Carolina. In a meet that was largely out of reach, RU fell 196.225-187.200.
Leading up to the meet, the Knights faced flooding in their gym's foam pit that the team was tasked with cleaning, a broken toilet on the bus, lost cell phones and purses, and nausea on the long bus ride to Chapel Hill, N.C.
"We just got to a point where we had to laugh," Chollet-Norton said. "We already made Nationals and we just had to move on."
On top of all that, the Knights were also without freshman Jenna Zito, one of the team's most consistent performers. After competing in all around in every meet and establishing herself as one of the team's top performers, Chollet-Norton gave Zito the meet off. She suffered from an ankle injury in practice and Chollet-Norton wanted to play it safe.
Despite the loss, there were several bright spots for RU. Freshman Emma-Rose Trentacosti scored a career-high 9.700 in vault to lead the team. After setting her season-high in beam in her previous meet with a 9.775, Sevarino tied that score to finish second overall.
The team returns to action on March 27 at the East Atlantic Gymnastics League Championships.