The Rutgers Gymnastics team began their season in Cancun last week with mixed results. New Coach Umme Salim-Beasley’s bunch looks to bounce back this weekend in Bridgeport, Connecticut Saturday at 5pm. Rounding out the field of the quad meet will be Southern Connecticut and Yale.
As a team, Rutgers tallied a 189.800 last week, but that does not tell the whole story. The Scarlet Knights started strong in vault (48.650) in the first rotation led by sophomore Toni Williams’s career high 9.800. Floor Exercise also continued from 2018 to be a strong event for the team though they should do better than the 48.550 last week. Belle Huang was the only participant who really was near her potential on the floor, scoring an awesome 9.850.
The balance beam was the true undoing of the Scarlet Knights as freshman Mia Betancourt and Kaitlyn Hall who tied for the team (9.675) lead were the only gymnasts not to slip up significantly. In the rest of the group’s defense, several gymnasts from West Virginia and Michigan also struggled with their footing a week ago. It’s possible Michelle Amoresano or Shannon Farrell get added to the lineup in the event, though the staff may elect to roll out the same group for another week.
This Saturday Rutgers will begin on the uneven bars where they struggled mightily in the opener. Expect a significant bounce back from Amoresano who averaged 9.558 last year in the event. Huang, Farrell, and Hall were also below their season averages from a year ago.
The Bridgeport Purple Knights enter the contest after a 4th place finish at Central Michigan last week. Bridgeport put up a respectable 192.575 highlighted by a 48.950 on the floor exercise. Their only all-around competitor is freshman Julianna Roland of Lumberton, NJ.
Southern Connecticut State begins their season Saturday. A season ago they finished 4th in Piscataway with a 187.65 when they faced RU, Yale, and Illinois early in the season. After that though, the Owls improved significantly, never falling short of 191.900 in any of their last four meets.
Yale finished second in the aforementioned quad meet at RU last year with a 191.550. They cranked it up late in the season though, avenging an earlier season loss to the Penn Quakers in the ECAC qualifier with a 195.325 to reach the NCAA regionals at Penn State. This will also be their first meet of the year.
Good luck Saturday!
Next up: The first home meet of the season takes place on January 19 against Nebraska at the Livingston Recreation Center. Save time by registering for parking in advance.