With junior Alecia Farina’s smooth dismount off the uneven bars during Saturday’s meet against Rutgers, Maryland gymnastics secured its 11th score of at least 9.8 on bars this year. The Terps have tallied only nine on the other three events combined.
Despite its up-and-down start to the season, Maryland has excelled on bars, continuing its success on an apparatus that has been a strength in recent years.
Last season, Maryland consistently scored well on bars, scoring at least a 49 in 11 of its 15 meets. Coach Brett Nelligan’s squad finished the season as the No. 14 team in the nation on the event. Farina, then-sophomore Kirsten Peterman and then-freshman Audrey Barber were standout performers on bars last year, each posting a season average above 9.8.
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The Terps have built on their success on the bars from last year, ranking No. 19 on the event. Bars have been Maryland’s highest-scoring event at three of four meets this season.
Much of this success can be attributed to strong performances from Farina, and sophomores Barber and Emilie LeBlanc, who have each earned 9.8s in three of their four meets this season. The older members of the team, having experienced last year’s successes, understand the importance of consistency and accountability.
“It is always very important for me to be able to help my team in any way possible,” Barber said after the Rutgers meet, where she set a new season high with a 9.875 on bars.
Junior Tiara Wright has also been a consistent performer for the Terps since transferring from West Virginia this offseason, scoring at least a 9.75 on bars in each meet so far. Wright’s composed performances have allowed the Terps to add new aspects to her routine, which was evident on Saturday.
“I was really impressed with Tiara,” Nelligan said. “We put a new, upgraded release move in her bar routine and she nailed it.”
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Freshman Sanya Glauber has also come up big for the Terps. Despite suffering a fall last week, Glauber has shown great potential on the bars, earning a 9.85 in the first meet of her career.
Maryland’s impressive showings on bars display the team’s potential, keeping its overall scores respectable despite struggles on other events.
In their first meet, the Terps put up a 48.875 on the bars as Farina, LeBlanc, Glauber and Wright earned 9.8s. Against Illinois, Maryland earned a 49.05 on bars, with Farina scoring a 9.875. Even in the Michigan meet, the Terps had a decent showing, as LeBlanc and Barber scored 9.8s and Wright earned a 9.75.
The Terps put up a well-balanced display on the bars Saturday, with five gymnasts scoring at least a 9.7.
With the Terps finally putting together a complete meet against Rutgers, scoring a 195.275 after only breaking 194 in one of their first three meets, they feel they are beginning to return to the form that powered them to the NCAA Regionals last year.
“We’ve known since preseason that our team has so much potential to be great,” Farina said. “This meet was the first chance for us to show everyone that we are such a good team and we have so much potential.”