Senior Reese McClure finished her floor routine pointing up to the sky. When she finished, tears filled her eyes as she ran over to coach Brett Nelligan for a bittersweet hug. McClure scored a career-high 9.925, capping off an emotional moment in a splendid day for Maryland, which scored a season-high 197.100.
“She means so much to us because you know, that’s an in-state kid, you know, homegrown talent, that it was really important for us to get her to keep her home,” said Nelligan. “She’s just a phenomenal person… and just one of the greatest Terps I’ve had the pleasure of coaching.”
Maryland (17-8, 2-7 Big Ten) defeated Towson, Temple, GW and Yale with its season-high score, all while sporting rainbow leotards to celebrate Pride Night during the Maryland Five meet on Sunday.
The Terps’ 197.100 score was the fourth-highest mark in team history.
“It just feels really special. I know it’s something that they wanted to do,” coach Brett Nelligan said after his team eclipsed the 197-mark. “They had to work really hard to get to this point.”
Maryland began the competition on the sidelines, watching its competition perform for about twenty minutes. Nelligan felt the first rotation bye was positive, as it was a precursor for Saturday’s Big Ten championship, where the Terps will also begin on a bye.
Towson began on the vault, GW the bars, Temple the beam and Yale the floor.
After patiently waiting, coach Nelligan’s squad headed to the vault. Freshman Taylor Rech earned a 9.825, following a nearly perfect Yurchenko full and a stuck landing. Rech averaged a 9.792 before coming into Sunday’s meet.
Olivia Weir followed up her score from Friday, scoring the same 9.850 on the vault. Weir’s score, Maryland’s highest vault score of the competition, led the No. 20 vault unit to a 49.150, up .150 from Friday’s outing. Emma Silberman, Reese McClure and Josephine Kogler each scored 9.825, while Alexsis Rubio earned a 9.750.
Maryland headed to the bars after the first rotation, where it earned 49.275. Sierra Kondo led the Terps in scoring, nailing a 9.925. Kondo displayed high flying release moves, swinging elegantly between the high and low bars while maintaining perfect clean body lines.
“We have so much confidence in her,” Nelligan said of Kondo. “She put it all together, she kind of let it happen. It was as close to perfect as you can get.”
In their final ever meet at home, seniors Aleka Tsiknias and Silberman soared high on the uneven bars, earning 9.875 and 9.825, respectively.
The Terps entered the beam rotation with a score of 98.425.
Nelligan’s beam unit scored 49.200, a major increase from Friday’s 48.250. Elizabeth Debarberie and McClure each scored 9.800, while freshman Maddie Komoroski earned a 9.875.
Silberman performed a flawless double back handspring layout step out into layout step, showing no signs of instability. Her dismount, a roundoff to a one and a half, was nearly a stuck landing. The senior scored a 9.825.
To anchor the unit, Kogler earned a 9.900, the highest beam score of the afternoon. Kogler averaged 9.743 coming into the meet. Her unique front walkover consisted of pointed toes and perfect sight to land her feet on the beam.
The Terps finished the meet on the floor, where they started the exercise hot. Maryland scored three 9.875’s, earned by Rech, Rhea Leblanc, and Komoroski. Their power and leap sequences elevated the mats through each skill.
As the rotation progressed, Silberman and Taylor Osterhout each scored 9.900 and season highs.
The Terps floor unit left the competition with a 49.475, its second highest floor score of the season.
Silberman crowned her second-straight all-around title, finishing the afternoon with 39.375. Sunday marked her second highest all-around score of the season, only -.025 less than her best.
“I think that using this fuel into the next meet and even regionals,” said Silberman. “This is a perfect way to go into it all.”
The Terps head into the postseason Saturday, competing in the Big Ten Championships in Iowa City. Nelligan’s team finished sixth overall, scoring 196.450 in 2022.
“I think going off of a season high into Big Ten is really going to allow us to be super confident and just go in there,” McClure said. “We can trust our training and that we’re ready to be in any situation that gets thrown at us.”