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Rutgers Gymnastics earns win over Maryland in B1G opener

Hannah Joyner shined once again alongside several noteworthy performances for the Scarlet Knights

Hannah Joyner finished in first place in the all-around helping to lead Rutgers to a win over Maryland.
(Ben Solomon/Rutgers Athletics)

Rutgers gymnastics opened Big Ten competition this season on Saturday and defeated Maryland on the road. The Scarlet Knights beat the Terps 195.550 to 194.925. The winning total was a top ten final score in program history for RU.

Hannah Joyner finished in first place in the all-around to lead her team to victory. She registered a career high of 9.925 on the floor, as well as a 9.925 on the beam. The junior continues to rewrite the record books for the Scarlet Knights. She has produced a score of 9.9 or higher in all four events in her career as well as the most overall in program history with a total of 18. The beam is her specialty, as she has posted a score 9.9 or better 14 times in her career.

Here are highlights of Joyner on the beam and floor.

Rutgers took the top three spots in the beam as all three captains performed well. Joyner won the event followed by fifth-year senior Belle Huang finishing second and sophomore Stephanie Zannella finishing third.

Huang won the floor with a career high score of 9.950 and Joyner finished second behind with her own best mark in the event.

Sophomore Emily Leese finished second in the vault with a score of 9.825 that generated plenty of criticism towards the judges on social media. It was a tremendous attempt performing the Yurchenko 1.5 and Leese stuck the landing. Over a dozen tweets were made in support of Leese’s vault not getting the proper score that people felt it deserved.

A notable comment made was from Olivia Karas, the former All-American and Big Ten champion from Michigan who now is a broadcaster for BTN’s gymnastics coverage.

Head coach Umme Salim-Beasley spoke about the scoring disparity between conferences and regions across the country during her recent appearance on the On The Banks podcast to preview Rutgers gymnastics before this season began. She also went into detail on preaching to her team about the mental approach of focusing on what they can control and not worrying about the scoring.

On the bars, junior Jordyn Zieden-Weber finished third on bars with a career-best 9.800, tying freshman Mya Pringle who made her collegiate debut in the event.

The Scarlet Knights will compete twice this coming weekend in Ohio. They’ll first take part in a tri-meet hosted by Kent State on Friday, January 28 that includes Cornell. Rutgers will then face Ohio State on Sunday, January 30 in Columbus. RU is now 3-4 on the season which includes a win over North Carolina and losses to No. 2 Florida and No. 21 N.C. State.

The program will continue to work towards making even more progress this season in Salim-Beasley’s fourth year on the banks. Last season, they finished a program best 5th place at the Big Ten Championships and are off to a good start this winter in the conference so far.