Emma Silberman took the floor stage for possibly the final time with a calm demeanor and left it with a smile. The senior gave a final salute to the judges then eagerly jogged to her coaches and greeted her teammates with high fives. Her score, 9.900, lifted Maryland’s floor score to a 49.300.
Maryland gymnastics placed fourth in the NCAA Regionals in Pittsburgh, after scoring 196.675. The Terps fell to Florida, Arizona State and Penn State, who earned 197.875, 197.525 and 196.825, respectively. Brett Nelligan’s squad posted its highest score at the NCAA Regional ever.
The Terps led off on the uneven bars, tying their third highest score on the event this season, nailing 49.275. Five of six Maryland gymnasts stuck their landing. Of them, senior Aleka Tsiknias, in her final meet of her career, earned a 9.875. Tsiknias’ straight lines and float-like transitions on her straddle yaeger struck the highest score of Maryland’s bar rotation, along with Sierra Kondo.
“That bar performance was nothing short of incredible,” said Nelligan. “I’m really proud of them for the whole night.”
Maryland’s second rotation, beam, earned a 49.175. Josephine Kogler led the way, anchoring the unit with a powerful yet controlled double back handspring layout step out to layout step out. Kogler, who has been a beam scoring leader for the Terps, scored a 9.900 coming off of an uncommon 9.700 sustained at the Big Ten Championships.
Maddie Komoroski also boosted the Terps’ beam unit. The freshmen executed a difficult beat jump to sheep jump flawlessly with great awareness of the beam. Like Kogler, Komoroski has been a strong force for Maryland’s beam unit in 2023, averaging 9.804. Komoroski earned a 9.850.
“Their work ethic, their focus in the gym, everything they do all week long to prepare for this,” Nelligan said about his beam unit. “They were able to go out there and hit six beautiful beam routines.”
After the first two rotations, the main focus turned to the battle between the Sun Devils and the Terps, who were separated by just 0.150.
Tayler Osterhout aimed high for Maryland on the floor exercise, where the Terps competed in their third rotation. Osterhout soared to a 9.875 after exhibiting great height on her first tumbling pass, a front tuck to double back tuck. The junior bounced in and out of the floor scoring lineup throughout the season yet earned a season-high 9.900.
“I love the way they went up there and laid everything out on that floor,” said Nelligan. “Tayler Osterhout hit one of her best routines of her career I thought.”
Florida’s Trinity Thomas, on the verge of breaking the NCAA record for most perfect 10s, paused midway through her floor routine after executing a perfect double back layout, signaling that she was injured. However the senior walked off the mat with little support.
Maryland’s season came to an end on the vault apparatus, where they ranked No.26 heading into the meet. Yet, it ended up marking their worst score of the night. Alexsis Rubio displayed a Yurchenko full with graceful twisting and mobility in the air. The graduate student capped off her career with a flair, earning a 9.825.
Olivia Weir and Kogler were able to notch solid 9.800s in the rotation.
Florida freshman and Maryland native Kayla DiCello was crowned all-around champion, scoring 39.800 after earning a perfect 10 on the bars. Silberman placed 7th of 8 in the all-around race, notching 39.275 across all four events.
“We talked about it…we had to be really strong, staying within ourselves and staying within our team and not letting our focus shift away from our team to any of the other teams or the crowd,” said Nelligan.
Although Friday night marked the end of Maryland’s season, coach Brett Nelligan was nothing but proud of his team’s efforts all season. Averaging 196.231, Nelligan’s squad was able to post two top-21 rankings in 2023.
“What we’ve accomplished this season is incredible,” said Nelligan. “I think this is yet another building block and this will set us up for the future.”