Maryland gymnastics carried the momentum from its first March outing to its historic fifth-place finish at the Big Ten championship March 23. The Terps went 13-1 in the month before being selected to compete in the NCAA tournament.

While a tough task lies ahead in No. 5 Utah and No. 10 Michigan State at the Gainesville Regional, coach Brett Nelligan said he and his team are optimistic that their success the past month will guide them to the postseason.

Maryland finished the regular season ranked No. 26 and sixth in the Big Ten. The Terps can continue their upward trajectory with a solid finish at regionals.

“Coming out on top gives us more confidence that we can put our gymnastics up against anyone in the country,” Nelligan said.

[Maryland gymnastics to compete in Gainesville Regional in NCAA tournament]

Maryland participated in the Big Ten championship’s first session, which featured the conference’s bottom six programs from the regular season. The Terps competed failed to produce above 49 markers on vault and beam last year, finishing the contest in fifth. This year, Nelligan’s squad completed stellar routines to tally more than a 49 in all four events.

The Terps defeated Illinois, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers and Iowa with a score of 196.775, their highest in program history at the championships. No. 17 Ohio State earned a 197.050, a score Maryland has tied or outperformed twice during the regular season.

The team was able to obtain this accomplishment through its improvement across all four events in March.

In their last two meets of February, the Terps recorded two markers below 49. Despite adding its highest floor score of 2024, Maryland struggled on its bars and beam rotations at the Big Five meet. Sierra Kondo and Lindsay Bacheler fell off the uneven bars on the same release skill, a straddle Jaeger. The Terps went on to earn a score of 47.825.

On balance beam, Maryland was only awarded a 9.800 or above twice and settled for a 48.800 on the event and a 195.100 overall. But as the Terps entered March and progressed through their postseason schedule, all hope was restored.

[Maryland gymnastics places program-best fifth with record 196.775 at Big Ten championships]

“We’ve just been killing it and doing so great,” Taylor Rech said. “We just have to go in and give it our all and just really do what we know how to do.”

Maryland opened March with three back-to-back quad victories. Nelligan’s balance beam unit finally broke through a mid-season slump and delivered the team’s second-highest score on the event this season at the Maryland Quad. Maddie Komoroski shined and earned a career-high 9.925.

Nelligan’s team went on to record two scores more than 197 following the Maryland Quad and two 196.725s.

Maryland’s production on all four events steadied as the March continued. Before the month began, the Terps earned a score less than 49.000 in all meets except one. Heading into regionals, Maryland only saw two scores within the 48.000 range in March.

“I’m just so proud of the team and the body of work that they’ve put together throughout this year, especially the back half of the season,” Nelligan said. “It’s really clicked for us and the team has kind of caught fire.”

The Terps are excited to face off against familiar faces in upcoming matches. But as they square off against three other programs, their mentality remains the same from the season.

“There’s only one team in this meet and it’s us,” Nelligan said. “We’re going to use that same mentality, go to regionals and focus on the one team that’s important to us and that’s Maryland.”