Maryland gymnastics rarely starts its meets strong. But on its senior day, the Terps started with the vault unit, a group that excelled.
Among the unit was Alexsis Rubio, who sprinted down the runway before making controlled contact with the table en route to a career high 9.925.
“In the biggest moments, that’s when Alexsis Rubio shines brightest,” said Nelligan. “A fifth year senior to come in here and do the best of vault of her career in one of her last meets ever, you can’t write a story like that.”
She was one of three seniors — along with Emma Silberman and Reese McClure — in the vault unit that notched scores of at least 9.825.
Their performances helped No. 25 Maryland start strong and come out on top Sunday at the Terp Quad with a season-high score of 196.950. The score bested the three teams Maryland hosted at the Xfinity Center. New Hampshire finished with a 195.600, Brown with a 194.600 and Penn with a 195.100.
“We struggled a bit with [starting meets off well],” Silberman said. “As soon as we focused on starting high and ending high, I think it just turned everything around.”
Maryland led by a wide margin heading into the second rotation where the uneven bars unit scored the team’s lowest score of the day, a 48.900.
Victoria Gatzendorfer hit perfect cast handstands and landed her dismount — a double back tuck — with ease. The transfer from Missouri earned a score of 9.875, her highest score as a Terp.
Tasha Brozowski followed and scored a 9.800 in only her second routine of the season. The anchor on bars, Aleka Tsiknias, scored a 9.900 in her senior night routine. She tied for the highest bars score of the meet with Penn’s McCaleigh Marr.
“We made a few mental errors but … we were an A+ on three events,” said Nelligan on his bars unit. “Once we put a complete meet together, four events, we’re going to be pretty tough to beat.”
The Terps scored their highest beam score of the season with a 49.300 as Maddie Komoroski tied her career high with a 9.900.
Maryland closed strong, as its floor unit scored a 49.525, its highest score since March 2004. Rhea LeBlanc earned a career-high 9.900 in the event.
Alexa Rothenbuescher did not participate in the meet after suffering an ankle injury at Thursday’s Temple Quad. Nelligan says they hope to have her back later this season.
Seniors Austynn Lacasse, Sophia LeBlanc, Tsiknias, Rubio, Silberman and McClure were all honored after Sunday’s meet.
“I want them to all stay forever, they’re just a really really special group,” Nelligan said. “I have been honored to coach them and I’m just thankful that we’re not done yet.”