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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.
More than 1,100 spectators filled the Livingston Gym on Saturday to watch the Rutgers gymnastics team finish second with a score of 194.575 in a quad meet with Penn State, Ursinius and Temple. The record crowd did not go unnoticed to head coach Louis Levine. “The energy level was amazing,” he said. “Having a full house is a great thing and the girls feed off of it and then the crowd feeds off the girls and it’s a great cycle.”
Senior Alexis Gunzelman finished with a meet-high 9.875 on the beam. She finished with a career-high 39.4 in the all-around.
The Rutgers gymnastics team can finally unpack its bags. The Scarlet Knights return to the Livingston Gym tomorrow for the first time in nearly a month after competing on the road in their previous three meets. “It is really exciting,” senior Alexis Gunzelman said of competing at home. “I think it’s going to help because it’s somewhere that we are comfortable with and that we know the crowd, we know the equipment. So I think it’s going to be really good for us.”
While a win is a win, the Rutgers gymnastics team earned a sloppy one Sunday in Philadelphia.
In her third meet of the season, senior Alyssa Straub earned a score of 9.725 on beam and 9.55 on the vault.
For many, three road meets in a row is a tiring sequence. For Rutgers gymnastics freshman Charly Santagado, trips to Texas and Washington, D.C., are nothing compared to her visit to the 19th Maccabiah Games last July. The distance from her home in Florida to Jerusalem is over 6,500 miles point-to-point. It was well worth it as she earned four medals in the games known as the Jewish Olympics.
Senior Alexis Gunzelman, above, said freshman Charly Santagado’s work ethic is reminiscent of when Gunzelman was a rookie.
What a difference a week made for the Rutgers gymnastics team. The Scarlet Knights responded to their first loss of the season with their highest vault score in program history Sunday and a career day from senior Alexis Gunzelman. Their team score of 194.5 in Washington, D.C., was enough to top William & Mary’s 194.375.
Senior Alexis Gunzelman earned a career-high 39.35 all-around score as the Knights faced injuries to juniors Luisa Leal and bars specialist Emma Hoffman.
Uncertainty surrounds the Rutgers gymnastics team as Sunday in Washington, D.C., it attempts to bounce back from its first loss of the season. Junior Luisa Leal landed on her back coming off the uneven bars last Saturday at Texas Woman’s, keeping her out for the team’s remaining three events. Junior Emma Hoffman was also injured, taking Leal’s place on floor exercise.
Sophomore Jenna Williams said the Knights treated every practice this week as if it were a meet in preparation for Sunday’s meet at George Washington.
According to Rutgers head gymnastics coach Louis Levine, the Scarlet Knights cannot compete with the best teams in the country if they continue to put up performances like in last Friday’s victory against Brown. The Knights have not lost all season en route to their best start since 1978, but scored under 195 for the first time this season against the bears.
For a college athlete, especially one without professional or Olympic aspirations, their senior year is supposed to be a time to turn their experience into their best performances as they play the sport they have dedicated their lives to for the last time. Jenna Zito’s senior season for the Rutgers gymnastics team followed that path at the start of 2013.
Following a season-ending injury in RU’s second meet of 2013, senior Jenna Zito has proved a leader on and off the floor.
Many athletes are elated following a career performance in front of a home crowd, especially when their team came out with a win. Following the Rutgers gymnastics team’s win Friday against Brown, senior Alexis Gunzelman was not. “She obviously had a great meet, but it’s more than just one person,” said head coach Louis Levine yesterday.