Maryland gymnastics’ beam unit has earned consistent scores in its first two meets of 2024. Coach Brett Nelligan’s gymnasts posted a 49.225 on the beam in their battle with West Chester, and most recently, a 49.150 in their win over Rutgers.
The Terps now sit at No. 8 nationally on the event, per Road to Nationals, and No. 1 in the Big Ten. Last year, Maryland took four meets to crack above a 49.150 on beam, eventually finishing the season No. 33 nationally on the event.
Despite drastically improving finishes, Nelligan’s beam team this season is only slightly modified from 2023’s lineup.
Emma Silberman, Josephine Kogler, Madeline Komoroski, Victoria Gatzendorfer, Elizabeth DeBarberie and Reese McClure were consistent beam performers last season. Nelligan also occasionally turned to Olivia Weir and Alexsis Rubio.
Without the likes of DeBarberie and McClure, who each competed in at least 10 meets on the beam in 2023, Nelligan needed to find new key pieces to revamp the Terps’ worst scoring unit.
His solution: Natalie Martin and Weir.
Martin, a freshman and beam runner-up at the 2022 Ohio State Championship, has fit seamlessly into Maryland’s beam rotation. She began her routine perfectly tumbling into a back handspring and back layout against Rutgers. She showed off a few dance elements, then seamlessly transitioned to a side aerial with ease.
Martin finished her beam work with a dynamic leap sequence and full turn. She executed her dismount, a back handspring to a Gainer one and a half, with squeezed legs and only a slight hop for a 9.850.
“Natalie, gosh, she’s just having fun out there, we’re having fun with her,” Nelligan said. “For her to have to finish that meet for us on a big note, that is really gonna boost her confidence and push her forward as the year goes on.”
Weir, who competed on beam in six meets last season, averaged 9.629 in 2023. She performed second in Friday’s lineup and attacked the beam powerfully. Like Martin, Weir started her routine with a back handspring to back layout, flawlessly landing her feet on the apparatus. She then floated into a switch leap and flipped into a back layout step out just slightly out of line.
The senior completed a leap series and a full turn before finishing her routine in a back handspring to a one and a half gainer, similar to Martin. Weir took a step backward on her landing, lowering her score to a 9.575 after marking a 9.800 against West Chester the previous week.
Maryland’s other beam workers, Silberman, Komoroski, Kogler and Gatzendorfer, helped add to the team’s total with precise leaps, balanced tricks and straight tumbling, all key factors to a high score on the event.
Komoroski, a key role in the Terps’ beam outing last season, earned a 9.825 after a clean beam performance against Rutgers. She had the highest average of Maryland gymnasts as a freshman last year at 9.807. The sophomore executed a one arm back handspring in each beam routine of her collegiate career, a skill special to her among teammates.
Gatzendorfer and Silberman averaged 9.566 and 9.705 on beam in 2023, respectively. This year, the pair have posted an average of 9.850 and 9.775 in two meets. Gatzendorfer offered tricky balancing skills to the lineup, like a forward roll, while Silberman possessed quick-hitting tumbling series, double back handspring to back layout.
Kogler, Maryland’s anchor, closed out the Terps’ impressive beam lineup. The junior capitalized on her leap sequences, extending her legs to near 180 degrees on switch leaps. Kogler easily moved between each series and to a near perfect landing off the dismount for a 9.875, Maryland’s highest beam score of the competition.
As Big Ten play continues, the Terps will face imposing beam units. No. 17 Minnesota, Maryland’s next opponent, finished week three at No. 18 on the event nationally after receiving a 49.125 in its most recent outing.