Gymnastics Finishes Third at Towson, Scoring 191.550
TOWSON, Md. - Gymnastics put itself in a position to win Friday night by scoring at least 48 points on each of its first three rotations. However, the host Towson would score 49.225 on floor, while George Washington scored 48.250 on the uneven bars to finish ahead of the Quakers at the end of the night. Finishing the meet with a team score of 191.550, Penn would take home third place overall.
Penn started out quickly on floor, putting out its second-best team score of the season for the event, 48.3. The Quakers then followed that up with another 48-plus performance on vault, the fifth time they have scored that high this season. In the third rotation, Penn tied the season-high performance on bars from last week. This marked the eighth time in the last nine meets that Penn went 48-plus on bars.
Starting the meet on floor, four gymnasts would either set or break season highs to get Penn going early. It was Kirsten Strausbaugh that led all Penn gymnasts with a season-best 9.825. This was the second time she posted that mark this season and it was good enough for sixth place at the meet tonight. Amber Woo also broke her season high on the event tonight, scoring 9.775, and finishing the meet in 12th place overall.
Megan Milavec scored 9.675, which also broke her season high and put her in 16th place overall. Katie Graham would be another gymnast to break her season high on floor tonight, scoring 9.625. This broke her previous career high by one-tenth of a point in her 19th place finish. Makeda Constable scored an even 9.4, finishing the meet in 20th place for Penn's fifth score, while Dana Bonincontri completed the floor team with a 9.125.
Moving back to the vault, Penn secured its fifth score of at least 48 points. The team has now achieved that march in back-to-back meets and three of the last four. Laura DiPaolo led the way on vault with her 9.7 to finish the event in ninth place overall. Bonincontri would give Penn two gymnasts in the top-10 with her 9.65 vault.
Finishing in 12th overall was Woo, scoring a 9.6. Strausbaugh finished the night with a 9.575 on vault. This mark was good enough to place her 15th. Milavec would ensure Penn would have no scoring routines below a 9.5 as she recorded that mark for the Quakers' fifth score on the event. She finished in 19th overall. Wynne Levy rounded out the vault team with a mark of 9.475, finishing in 20th place.
In what now seems to be a weekly occurrence, Penn again scored 48-plus on bars. The team has achieved that mark four straight weeks and eight of the last nine meets overall. Tonight's 48.725 tied the season high, which is also the third-highest mark in program history. Bonincontri picked up Penn's only individual event victory of the night on bars, scoring 9.875, just off her career high. This was her fourth win of the season on bars and third in the last four meets. Strausbaugh would finish runner-up at the meet with a score of 9.8.
Constable would give Penn three of the top-four scores with her season-high 9.775, breaking her previous high by five-hundredths of a point in the process. Milavec just missed out on a top-10 performance, finishing the meet in 11th place with a score of 9.65. Just behind her in 13th place was Woo with a 9.625 for Penn's fifth score in the event. DiPaolo rounded out the bars team, scoring 8.975 with five solid scores already in hand.
With three solid rotation scores to start the night, Penn was in second place overall heading into the last events with a team score of 145.05. At the time, Penn was trailing Towson by just over five-tenths of a point; however, Towson would hit its floor, while George Washington excelled on bars in the final rotation. On the Penn beam, it was Bonincontri that led the way with a fourth place finish, scoring 9.725. Strausbaugh would give Penn another top-10 score when she finished with a 9.625, placing eighth.
Constable gave Penn its third score with a 9.125, finishing 15th overall, while Woo scored 9.075 to finish the meet in 17th place overall. The Quakers' fifth mark came from Katie Graham, who scored an 8.95, while Milavec also competed on beam, scoring 8.925.
Penn once again used four all-around gymnasts. Strausbaugh finished with the highest Penn score, second overall at the meet, with a combined 38.825. Bonincontri finished in fourth overall with a 38.375. Woo finished with a 38.075, placing eighth overall, while Milavec placed inside the top-10 with a total score of 37.750 for the night.
Next weekend, Penn will be hosting the ECAC Championships inside The Palestra. The championship meet will be held next Saturday at noon. Fans can save $2 off admission to this event by purchasing their tickets online.
Uneven bars (48.725) - Ties season high, third-best in program history
Floor Exercise (48.300) - Second-best score this season