A week after a tough matchup at Auburn, Rutgers gymnastics returned to the RAC for a quad meet against Towson, Ursinus, and Western Michigan. The Scarlet Knights edged Towson by a mere 0.35 points on the day to take first place in the meet led by Belle Huang winning the all-around. On top of that, Makenzey Shank’s school record performance on the balance beam earned her Big Ten specialist of the week. Libby Groden also returned to participate in the vault and on the beam the same day she was announced as one of 14 semifinalists for the American Athletic, Inc. Award, considered the Heisman Trophy of collegiate gymnastics.
The Scarlet Knights honored three seniors; Groden, Shank, and Jenna Crisalli, – with a ceremony following the fourth rotation. Check out some highlights from an emotional senior day in the tweet below:
Saturday was an emotional night at the RAC! Take a look back at the #RUGym Senior Meet... pic.twitter.com/woQnDPVJ3P— Rutgers Gymnastics (@RUGymnastics) February 27, 2018
Shank’s performance on the balance beam earned her a 9.925, tying the highest individual score in school history in the event contributing to the team beam mark of 48.975, the eighth-best outing in the program record books.
The team began on vault with Groden and Toni Williams leading the way scoring 9.775 each. On uneven bars, Shank had another career high (9.900) earning first place. The Scarlet Knights finished on floor led by Huang at 9.875, Jenna Rizkalla at 9.825, and Shannon Farrell a 9.800 to take the victory.
Groden will have to wait as the six AAI award finalists will be voted on by coaches across the country. Head coach Louis Levine had so many positive things to say about her on the mat and off, “She is the glue that holds everything together for this team. And she is very even-keeled in any situation. She has played a major role in everything we have done here during her career.”
Good luck Libby!
Makenzey Shank wins Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week! Senior tied the #RUGym record with a 9.925 on beam & added a 9.900 on bars.— Rutgers Gymnastics (@RUGymnastics) February 26, 2018
Release: https://t.co/MQXz7xYCoZ#weRpowerful #nineTEAM pic.twitter.com/RI1CZiIEdb
Up Next: Towson hosts the Scarlet Knights this Friday at 7 pm. looking to reverse the result of this past weekend. The teams then meet again at George Washington the following week as part of a quad meet.
And per the team’s twitter feed, Happy Birthday to gymnast Erin McLachlan!
Wishing a very happy birthday to this spunky girl from across the pond! Hope your day is full of spontaneous dancing #RUGym #weRpowerful #nineTEAM pic.twitter.com/QKA95AiR9o— Rutgers Gymnastics (@RUGymnastics) February 27, 2018