PHILADELPHIA - There is something about Hutchinson Gymnasium that seems to bring the best out of the gymnastics team. The Quakers have now had two home meets this season and both times they have set season high team scores. In the first home meet, they scored 191.975, the highest mark since 2008.
Tonight, they obliterated that mark, scoring 192.975, exactly one point better than their first home meet. This was also Penn's highest team score since March 12, 2004 and the highest during John Ceralde's tenure as head coach at Penn. Only a 195.250 by New Hampshire could prevent the Quakers from capturing first in the quad meet.
The Quakers started out with solid marks on vault, 47.850, and uneven bars, 47.950, but then caught fire in the final two events. The Quakers scored 48.675 on beam, the highest mark since the 2007 season and fourth-best overall in program history. Penn would then post its first 48-plus on floor this year, scoring 48.500 total, besting its previous season high on this event by just under eight-tenths of a point.
Starting out on vault, Laura DiPaolo followed up a 9.8 last week with a 9.725 to finish in third place overall for the meet. Freshmen Wynne Levy and Amber Woo then each scored 9.575 on their respective vaults to finish in a tie for seventh place. For Woo, her vault tied a season high.
Dana Bonincontri has now scored 9.5 on vault in each of her two attempts. She finished in 12th overall for the event tonight. Kirsten Strausbaugh scored 9.475 for Penn's fifth score of the evening, placing her in 14th. Megan Milavec rounded out the vault team with an even nine.
On the uneven bars, Strausbaugh led the way with a career-high 9.825, missing a top-five score in program history by just 25-thousandths of a point. She tied for second place with Makeda Constable set her season high, scoring 9.6 to finish the event in seventh place.. Bonincontri's identical score on bars was a season high after she set one of the top-five scores in program history last season.
Woo gave the Quakers four finishers in the top-10 with her 9.55 on bars, which was good enough for eighth place at the end of the meet. Milavec gave Penn's its fifth score in the event with her 9.15, good enough for 13th place overall. DiPaolo was Penn's sixth competitor in the event, scoring 8.925. In exhibition, Rebecca Engberg added a 9.475, which would have been a top-10 score in the meet if she was of one Penn's six gymnasts.
Moving over to beam, the Quakers just took off, besting their previous team high on beam by exactly half a point. Three career highs by returning upperclassmen, four career highs total, if you count the freshman's season high, led the way for the event. Bonincontri set a career-high 9.8 to finish in third place overall for the event. Strausbaugh and Katie Graham each scored 9.775's, which were also career bests. These scores placed them in a fourth place tie for the meet.
Constable set a season-high on beam, bettering her previous freshman high by nearly one-tenth, scoring 9.675 to finish ninth overall on beam. Woo gave Penn five scoring routines in the top-10 with her 9.65, which just missed her career high by 25-thousandths of a point. Milavec rounded out the beam team with a 9.1.
Wrapping up the meet on floor, Penn closed out strong with by far its best team floor of the season. Strausbaugh set a season high with her 9.825, which gave Penn its first event winner on the evening. She was just shy of her career-high 9.85 that she scored at the Ivy Classic last season. Bonincontri scored a 9.8 in just her second floor routine of the season. She has now scored 9.8 on floor four different times during her collegiate career.
Sophomore Nicki Valenti also posted a career high, scoring 9.675 to finish in 11th place overall for the meet. Right behind her was Constable with a season-high 9.65, bettering her freshman best by nearly two-tenths of a point in her 12th place finish. Milavec added a 9.55 for Penn's fifth score in the event, placing 14th overall. Kaitlyn Reszkowski scored 9.5, which was Penn's sixth score in the event, 15th overall for the meet.
As if that was not good enough, Penn strolled out two more exhibition routines that both would have been right outside of the top-10. Claire Stingley posted what would have been a career-high 9.725 on her floor exhibition. Graham scored 9.7 in her floor exhibition. This would have shattered the senior's previous career high by nearly two-tenths.
To cap off the meet, Penn finished with the top-three all-around gymnasts. In just her second meet competing in all four events this season, Bonincontri scored a combined 38.925, just outside the top-10 of Penn's all-time record book, finishing in first place. Strausbaugh finished with a career-best 38.9 in her four events, besting her previous high by a tenth. Milavec finished in third place for the all-around competition.
The Quakers will now be back on the road next weekend in their final preparations for the Ivy Classic. Next Saturday, Penn will take part in the Towson Invitational. That meet will begin at 4 p.m.
1. New Hampshire - 195.250
2. Penn - 192.975 - (Season-high)
3. Brockport - 186.425
4. Wilson - 148.125
3. Laura DiPaolo - 9.725
7. Wynne Levy - 9.575
7. Amber Woo - 9.575 (Ties season high)
12. Dana Bonincontri - 9.500 (Ties season high)
14. Kirsten Strausbaugh - 9.475
19. Megan Milavec - 9.000
Uneven Bars (47.950)
2. Kirsten Strausbaugh - 9.825 (Career high)
2. Dana Bonincontri - 9.825 (Season high)
7. Makeda Constable - 9.600 (Season high)
8. Amber Woo - 9.550
13. Megan Milavec - 9.150
17. Laura DiPaolo - 8.925
Balance Beam (48.675)
- Season high/Fourth-best in program history
3. Dana Bonincontri - 9.800 (Career high)
4. Kirsten Strausbaugh - 9.775 (Career high)
4. Katie Graham - 9.775 (Career high)
9. Makeda Constable - 9.675 (Season high)
10. Amber Woo - 9.650
14. Megan Milavec - 9.100
(48.500) - Season high
1. Kirsten Strausbaugh - 9.825 (Season high)
6. Dana Bonincontri - 9.800 (Season high/Ties career high)
11. Nicki Valenti - 9.675 (Career high)
12. Makeda Constable - 9.650 (Season high)
14. Megan Milavec - 9.550
15. Kaitlyn Reszkowski - 9.500