PHILADELPHIA - Needing every last tenth of a point - make that every five-hundredths to be more specific, gymnastics pulled out the win over Rutgers Friday night in its home opener, 191.975-191.925. Friday's team score is the highest a Penn squad has scored since March 1, 2008. The Quakers had scores of 48-plus on both the bars and beam, while just narrowly missing that mark on vault (47.925). In addition, the team improved its floor score by over a point and half from the season debut.
After taking the Lindsey Ferris Invitational vault by storm last weekend, the Quakers got off to a quick start at that same event at home. Just like a week ago, Laura DiPaolo had the top score on vault with her 9.65. This week, reigning ECAC Rookie of the Week Amanda Schlaefer tied DiPaolo's mark as the two finished in a third place tie. Following closely behind them was Kirsten Strausbaugh with her 9.6 to finish fifth in the event.
Megan Milavec made her debut on the vault Friday night. After consistently competing in this event last season, Milavec scored 9.55 on her first vault of the 2012 season. Two freshmen, Amber Woo and Wynne Levy each tallied scores of 9.475 and finished in a ninth place tie to round out the Penn vault team.
On the uneven bars, Penn scored 48.200 as a team. The Quakers went over 48 just once last season on the uneven bars and that only came in the sixth meet of the 2011 season. Strausbaugh led the Quakers' uneven bars team with a 9.775, tying her mark from last weekend. Dana Bonincontri hit her uneven bar routine in a big way, scoring 9.75 in her second shot at the event this season, finishing in third. Milavec scored a career-best 9.675 on her routine. This mark gave Penn three of the top-four bar routines on the night.
Woo and DiPaolo rounded out the Quakers' top-five scores with each getting marks of 9.5. This was a season best for Woo and just five-hundredths of a point off DiPaolo's mark last week. Both gymnasts would finish in a sixth place tie for the event. Constable added a 9.450 and finished in ninth, giving Penn six scores that were good enough for the top-10.
Moving over to the balance beam, Penn posted back-to-back 48-plus team routines with a 48.125 in its third event. Penn achieved a 48 or higher twice on beam last season, but did not get its first until the Ivy Classic, the team's seventh meet of the 2011 season. Schlaefer just continued to impress, besting her mark in the event from a week ago, scoring 9.725, and finishing first overall on beam. Woo also bettered her mark from the previous week with a score of 9.675 to finish fourth.
Katie Graham tied her mark from last weekend, while Strausbaugh become the third member of the beam team to better their result from last week. Graham added a 9.625 to the beam team, finishing sixth, while Strausbaugh's 9.575 put her in seventh place. Constable scored a 9.525 to finish tenth and give Penn five scores over 9.5. Milavec rounded out the Penn lineup on beam with a 9.1.
Coming down to the final event, the floor exercise, Penn knew the scores were going to be tight as Rutgers had just gone over 48 in floor and were in the process of recording their second 48-plus score of the night on beam. Strausbaugh led the Quakers' floor with a season-best 9.750 to capture her second event of the evening, giving Penn the champion in three out of the four events. Woo continued with her dramatic improvements, scoring 9.55 to finish in sixth.
Kaitlyn Reszkowski made the most of her one event, scoring 9.475, setting a new season best. Reszkowski's mark would be tied by both Milavec and Constable as these three Penn gymnasts finished in a tie for eighth place. Claire Stingley also made her season debut on the floor in this meet.
In this meet, Penn had three gymnasts competing for the all-around. Despite capturing two of the four events, Strausbaugh finished second in the all-around, setting a season high and finishing just one-tenth behind the overall leader. On the strengths of three season highs, Woo finished the all-around with a score of 38.2, good for fourth. Milavec competed in her first all-around of 2012 after being added to the vault lineup. She scored 37.8 in her first meet competing for the all-around.
After the lightning-quick start to the 2012 season, the Quakers will look to carry the early season momentum on the road with them the next two weekends. Next Saturday, January 28, the Quakers will make the trip north to Yale for a 1 p.m. meet against their Ivy League opponents. The next home meet will be February 10, back in Hutchinson Gymnasium.
Full Penn Results
1. Penn - 191.975 (Season best)
2: Rutgers - 191.925
Uneven Bars (48.200)
1. Kirsten Strausbaugh - 9.775 (Ties season high)
3. Dana Bonincontri - 9.750 (Season high)
4. Megan Milavec - 9.675 (Career high)
6. Amber Woo - 9.500 (Season high)
6. Laura DiPaolo - 9.500
9. Makeda Constable - 9.450
Balance Beam (48.125)
1. Amanda Schlaefer - 9.725 (Season high)
4. Amber Woo - 9.675 (Season high)
6. Katie Graham - 9.625 (Ties season high)
7. Kirsten Strausbaugh - 9.575 (Season high)
10. Makeda Constable - 9.525
12. Megan Milavec - 9.100
Floor Exercise (47.725)
1. Kirsten Strausbaugh - 9.750 (Season high)
6. Amber Woo - 9.550 (Season high)
8. Kaitlyn Reszkowski - 9.475 (Season high)
8. Megan Milavec - 9.475 (Season high)
8. Makeda Constable - 9.475 Season high)
12. Claire Stingley 7.950 (First time on floor this season)