Reece McClure danced and tumbled to a disco compilation for her floor routine with her team’s high-powered cheering in the background. She stuck a few landings and emerged with a 9.875.
Her performance was one of many that helped Maryland gymnastics open up Big Ten play at Nebraska Jan. 21 with a 195.875-195.325 win, its first conference win of the season. The Terps placed first in their season-opening tri-meet and have shown improvement in their first two contests of 2023 compared to last year’s start.
Their first three contests have already surpassed the squad’s scores from last season, when Maryland opened its season scoring a 192.925 and a 194.925.
“I’m looking forward to the progress we make as a team,” Josephine Kogler said. “I think by the end of the season, it’s gonna be a really good one.”
Maryland started strong with a 48.850 on bars. Victoria Gatzendorfer executed a double back-tuck as Elizabeth Debarberie went to a double-back layout. Both stuck their landings and scored 9.800’s in the event.
It was unclear heading into the night how much Debarberie would compete. She experienced some discomfort in her ankle due to an injury sustained at last week’s West Virginia Tri-Meet. Coach Brett Nelligan did not assign her to any other apparatus for the remainder of the night.
Alexsis Rubio and Emma Silberman both posted 9.875 on vault, tied for the second highest score of the night on the apparatus.
Rubio matched her season-high 9.875 before Rothenbuescher followed up with a 9.825 to help the Terps score a new vault high of the season at 49.125.
Sophomore Rhea LeBlanc’s face lit up with a smile as she finished a front handspring to double-back twist by landing with control. Her floor routine increased by .075 from the last meet.
However, the highlight of the night came on beam. The Terps only lead 146.975-146.275 heading into the fourth and final rotation.
Freshman Maddie Komoroski stepped onto the beam and scored a career-record 9.875, increasing her score from the last meet by .100. This score ended up tying the Terp’s highest of the night.
The Terps are trying to improve themselves by focusing on the details, Kroger said. Even perfecting her routine by one percent would be a step in the right direction, she noted.
“I think we had a really good start,” said Kogler. “I just think it shows everyone how much more we have and how much we can grow.”
The Terps host Michigan State on Jan. 29. The Spartans are ranked No. 12 per Road to Nationals and took down No. 3 Michigan on Jan. 22.