Victoria Gatzendorfer led off for Maryland gymnastics’ uneven bars rotation at the Big Ten championships on Saturday.

The junior performed a unique Maloney to Pak Salto between each bar, maintaining her focus to connect each skill. She constructed into vertical cast handstands before dismounting a double back layout.

Gatzendorfer stuck the landing en route to tying her career-high on the event, a 9.875. The junior led the Terps’ bars unit to a 49.300, a score that tied its third highest mark of the season. Coach Brett Nelligan’s rotation was awarded two 9.900s, courtesy of Alexa Rothenbuescher and Rhea Leblanc, along with a 9.825 from Tasha Brozowski.

Each gymnast held strong form in transitions between bars and skills and ultimately finished with strong landings. The event was a fitting end to a powerful and consistent afternoon of gymnastics for the Terps, who went on to score at least a 49.000 on all four events.

“We believed we were a good bar team from the start,” Nelligan said. “… It was that mentality, that mindset that got us to finish that rotation really strong.”

Maryland earned a 196.775 in the Big Ten championships’ morning session in East Lansing, its best score at the event since joining the conference in 2014. The Terps finished first in their session ahead of a high-powered night session that featured some of the nation’s best programs.

Maryland ultimately finished in a program-best fifth place after Michigan State took the title with a score of 197.600.

“I’m just so happy that this team that has worked so hard and been so selfless with one another got to experience that moment,” Nelligan said. “It’s one of the best feelings.”

[Maryland gymnastics places second in final regular season meet, earns a 196.725]

The Terps’ strong showing began on the balance beam.

Gatzendorfer, who fell off the beam in the team’s most recent outing, performed a double back handspring to layout step out. The junior stood tall after landing without leaving her chest down. She flowed through her routine, hitting 180 degree splits in her leaps. Gatzendorfer dismounted in a Gainer full and stuck the landing to earn a 9.800.

Maddie Komoroski led the rotation, kicking off her routine in a one arm back handspring to layout. The sophomore transitioned into a front aerial, a blind-landed skill. Komoroski showed off her flexibility in her leap series. She finished in a round off to one-and-a-half, only hopping slightly on the landing. Komoroski tallied a 9.875.

Maryland saw two 9.725s from lead off Emma Silberman and anchor Josephine Kogler, along with a 9.750 from Layla Hammer. Natalie Martin was also awarded a 9.850 after displaying immense artistry in her tumbling sequence. The Terps began the afternoon with a 49.000, taking second place behind Nebraska after the first rotation.

Nelligan’s squad sat on a bye in the second rotation.

Maryland then moved to its best event — the floor exercise. Taylor Rech kicked off the rotation by tallying a 9.825. Rech earned her ninth 9.800 or higher of 2024 after exhibiting power in her tumbling passes. She performed a double back tuck midway through her routine, planting her feet into the floor.

The Terps earned two 9.850s from Martin and Leblanc. The duo flew into long leap series and strong tumbling skills. Komoroski added a 9.875 after completing a ring to switch ring leap and landing controlled. The sophomore has yet to score below a 9.800 on the event all season.

But Rothenbuescher’s routine was the peak of Maryland’s performance on the rotation.

[Improvements on uneven bars has Maryland gymnastics peaking at the right time]

Rothenbuescher was the Big Ten’s ninth best floor performer this season, averaging a 9.904. She opened in a double back tuck, taking a slight lunge on her landing. The senior transitioned into a leap sequence, flying high. She ended in a double back tuck, sticking the landing before saluting toward the judges.

Rothenbuescher was awarded a 9.900, her tenth score of at least 9.900 in 2024. Nelligan’s floor unit added a 49.300 to its total score.

“They went in and did the job today,” Nelligan said. “They deserve to be on the top podium of this morning session.”

Maryland continued its momentum to vault, in which it ranked No. 24 in the nation entering the meet. Olivia Weir led off and performed a tight-formed Yurchenko full. She landed with a slight hop but was awarded a 9.800. Rech followed suit with the same skill and stuck her landing. She added a 9.850.

Rech’s 9.850 wasn’t the only 9.850 of the unit. Martin, who averaged a 9.854, exhibited a 10.0 start-valued skill, a Yurchenko one-and-a-half. The freshman took a slight hop forward on landing but displayed great height off the vault table and tight form through the air.

The Terps didn’t score below a 9.800 across all six gymnasts in the rotation, enough to earn a 49.150. It set them up to finish the opening session on top, adding a 49.300 that secured Maryland best-ever score and finish at the Big Ten championships.

Nelligan said he told his team two things at the end of the Terps’ record-breaking performance.

“They need to enjoy this moment because they earned it,” he said. “They need to bring this mentality with them to NCAA’s.”