Three gymnasts compete in NCAA Regionals
While the Rutgers gymnastics team's season is over, three gymnasts continued to compete this weekend. The NCAA Regionals were held in six regions across the country last Saturday to decide who would qualify for Nationals in Cleveland.
Host and No. 9-ranked Michigan overcame an early fall to finish in first place with a score of 197.075. Kent State managed to pull off an unprecedented upset, chasing down No. 4 Stanford and No. 16 Ohio State to finish second, punching a ticket to Nationals.
While the Scarlet Knights did not qualify as a team, three gymnasts managed to build résumés over the season that were strong enough to qualify for individual spots in the Ann Arbor, Mich., region. Sophomore Jenna Zito and freshman Luisa Leal-Restrepo both competed in all-around competition while sophomore Danielle D'Elia competed in floor exercises.
Since her arrival on the Banks as a freshman last year, Zito has been a consistent all-around performer who steadily improved.
After averaging a 38.228 in all-around competition entering the meet, Zito managed to exceed her average on the biggest stage of her career. In her first trip to Regionals, Zito scored a 38.550 after scoring over 9.7 in all events but bars.
In her freshman season, Leal-Restrepo averaged a 38.680 in all-around competition en route to being named the East Atlantic Gymnastics League Freshman of the Year. Leal-Restrepo finished with a 38.000 at Nationals after struggling on beam.
Despite being the smallest athlete on the team, D'Elia had a large effect on the team from Day 1. A transfer from Central Michigan, D'Elia excelled in floor exercises all year.
Over the regular season, D'Elia averaged 9.796 in floor exercises but only managed to finish with a 9.125 at Regionals.