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The Rutgers gymnastics team gained valuable postseason experience Saturday at the NCAA Regionals in Athens, Ga., earning a program-high 193.750 score to finish sixth behind Michigan, Georgia, Central Michigan, Ohio State and North Carolina State. Senior Alexis Gunzelman’s season will continue after her second-place finish in the all-around automatically qualified her for NCAA nationals.
The goal all season for the Rutgers gymnastics team was simple — qualify for the NCAA Regionals. The Scarlet Knights earned their first appearance at regionals since 2007, and it is the first time Rutgers has qualified under third-year head coach Louis Levine. After a program-best third-place finish at the EAGL Championships on March 22 and posting both the highest score on the road at 195.825 and the top-program score of 196.225, the Knights have one more meet to reach perfection.
Junior Emma Hoffman said Rutgers has worked on improving the smaller details ahead of the team’s first regionals since 2007.
The uneven bars require consistency and precision.
Charly Santagado has been the only freshman consistently in Rutgers’ bars lineup, competing in all 12 meets this season.
In gymnastics, the balance beam requires a different mentality than the other three events. Gymnasts flip, jump and spin on an apparatus that is four feet off the ground and is just four inches wide. It is the event that is considered the most psychologically straining, according to Rutgers head gymnastics coach Louis Levine.
Freshman Claire Jones competed on the balance beam in all 12 meets this season and scored a 9.85 at the EAGL Championship.
In a season full of broken records, the Rutgers gymnastics team added one more to its collection Saturday at the EAGL Championships. The Scarlet Knights scored a 195.275 to finish tied for third with North Carolina State, behind hosts New Hampshire and the Maryland. The third place finish was the program’s top score at the conference championships.
Coming off its second straight record-breaking weekend after a program-best 196.225 score, the Rutgers gymnastics team looks to carry that momentum into its final meet of the regular season. The Scarlet Knights travel tomorrow to face conference foes North Carolina, and ECAC rivals William & Mary and Brown in their final meet before the EAGL championships.
Senior Alexis Gunzelman scored a 38.700 last weekend in the all-around.
Each event in gymnastics has its own personality. Vault is quick and powerful and is over in a matter of seconds. The uneven bars require grace and look effortless. Balance beam shows fearlessness. Floor exercise allows gymnasts to blend personality, performance and athleticism into a 90-second routine.
Sophomore Katie Stebick earned a 9.825 last weekend on floor exercise. The score helped Rutgers to a program-high score of 49.325 in the event.
As the Rutgers gymnastics team entered its final rotation Saturday, the noise level at the Livingston Gym rose. Freshman Charly Santagado took the floor exercise and scored a career-high 9.875 to start the Scarlet Knights off on the right foot. They never looked back. Rutgers (17-3) finished atop the standings with a school-record score of 196.225 in the five-team meet that included No. 17 Central Michigan, Southern Connecticut State, Yale and Towson.
Alexis Gunzelman helped Rutgers break its record for overall score in a meet.
Freshman Charly Santagado scored 9.300 on bars in a meet that head coach Louis Levine said reflected the team’s progress.
In a sport that is defined by tenths and hundredths of a point, even a season-best score leaves plenty of room for improvement. The Rutgers gymnastics team will aim to make those improvements this weekend in its final home competition of the season. The Scarlet Knights (13-2) hit on all four events for a score of 195.825 last weekend, which showed the potential Rutgers has when it puts together clean routines.
Senior Alyssa Straub leaves Rutgers as one of the best vaulters in school history.
Sophomore Jenna Williams and freshman Claire Jones each earned EAGL weekly honors yesterday for the Rutgers gymnastics team after their career-high performances Saturday at Cornell. Williams earned Specialist of the Week following a 9.875 score on balance beam. Her previous top score was a 9.850, which she earned Jan. 19 at Ohio State.
Senior Alexis Gunzelman has had quite the up-and-down performances in the Rutgers gymnastics team’s past three meets. She earned a career-high all-around score of 39.35 on Feb. 9 at George Washington, then broke it last Saturday with a 39.4 in a quad meet at home. In between, she had a performance she would rather forget.
Senior Alexis Gunzelman looks to improve upon her career-high all-around score last Saturday in the Rutgers quad meet.