The Scarlet Knights gymnastics team began their season Saturday at home, hosting Illinois, Yale, and Southern Connecticut State.
The big story of the day was Libby Groden taking first in the all-around competition with a solid 38.875. The Scarlet Knights finished third place as a team by the slimmest of margins to Yale who finished in second (191.550 to 191.525).
Groden has qualified three times for NCAA Regionals in the all-around and was joined by hyped freshman Belle Huang in performing on all four apparatuses. Also debuting for the Scarlet Knights were fellow freshman Sophia Atienza plus sophomores Emma Karas and Shannon Farrell.
Four Scarlet Knights made their collegiate debut & Libby Groden won the all-around in Saturday's season opener!— Rutgers Gymnastics (@RUGymnastics) January 13, 2018
Recap: https://t.co/qvpKwHu8dq#RUGym #weRpowerful #nineTEAM pic.twitter.com/cibAd7dov8
The Scarlet Knights started with vault, their weakest event, and were led by Huang’s 9.650. On uneven bars, Groden led the team while Sophomore Kaitlyn Hall set her career high in the event with a 9.775.
RU performed best on beam, paced by Makenzey Shank’s 9.875, the highest score anyone on an any team achieved on the day in any event. Huang, the 2017 Junior Olympic National Champion in the event, added a 9.850. In addition, Michelle Amoresano set a career-best 9.725. Jenna Rizkalla led the squad on floor to close out an exciting final rotation.
Overall, the team probably would have liked to do better, but there were a lot of positives to take away from the first official collegiate meet in nine months.
NEXT UP: Big Ten meet Saturday at Nebraska at 8 p.m. ET.
Thanks to everyone who came today! pic.twitter.com/eNA4Uu1Vjz— Rutgers Gymnastics (@RUGymnastics) January 13, 2018