As the gymnastics season gets into full swing, both the men’s and women’s programs are hitting their stride. Competing at home against James Madison University this past weekend, the Tribe men posted their best team score of the season with a 196.15-158.35 victory over the Dukes. The women matched their season-high total with a score of 186.225, but it was not enough to keep up with some of the best teams in the nation as the Tribe finished fifth at the Hearts Invite in Raleigh, N.C.
p. Besting their previous season-high score by almost six points, the men pulled their record above .500 for the first time this year, improving to 6-5 overall. They also took home the top three spots in all six events of the evening. Sophomore Sloan Crawford won the floor event with a score of 8.70, while fellow sophomore James Prim earned the top score in pommel horse, tying his career-high with an impressive 8.5.
p. Prim followed up the pommel horse performance with his second career best of the night, a mark of 9.15 on the rings. Freshman Josh Fried earned a career best of his own with a score of 8.2 on the vault, tying for first place in the event with Crawford. Strong efforts on the parallel bars from senior David Ridings, junior Andrew Hunt and freshman Derek Gygax propelled the College to a season-best 32.65 score in the event.
p. Senior Christina Padilla led the women to a strong showing at the Hearts Invite with a score of 9.675 on the vault and 9.550 on the bars. Junior Tricia Long performed well in all four of her events, as she paced the Tribe with scores of 9.575 on the beam and a season-best 9.625 mark on the floor event. Long’s total score of 37.775 led the Tribe in the all-around.
p. Freshman Ali Medeiros continued her strong rookie season as she posted the team’s second-best scores in both the vault and bars. Sophomore Becca Bacharach turned in a career-best score of 9.525 on the floor, and was second on the team with a 9.3 on the beam. Battling back from a preseason injury, senior Jess Randall posted a strong score of 9.275 on the beam.
p. The women’s fifth-place finish can be attributed to the strength of the Hearts Invite field. Eight-time NCAA champion University of Nebraska, currently ranked sixth in the nation, turned in a team score of 196.7 to win the Invite. 24th-ranked University of West Virginia came in second with a score of 194.7, while North Carolina State University finished third and George Washington University placed fourth, finishing with totals of194.6 and 191.175, respectively.
p. Next weekend the Tribe women travel to Columbia, Missouri for the Cat Classic. The College will be up against another strong field including Illinois State University, Ball State University, and host University of Missouri. The men return to action in two weeks as they host Penn State and the U.S. Naval Academy, both nationally-ranked teams, March 3. The meet will begin at 2 p.m. in Kaplan Arena.