Bruno edges Seattle Pacific in pair of weekend meets

Morant ’17 excels at Missouri competitions, highlighted by record-tying floor performance

Contributing Writer
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Brown gymnastics 2017, first home meet, Jan. 14, 2017. (Photo/Stew Milne/)

While most students used their long weekend to catch up on sleep or homework, the gymnastics team traveled to St. Charles, Missouri for two meets.

Friday, the Bears tallied a season-high team score of 193.350 in the GymQuarters Invitational, a quad meet that included Lindenwood University, Nebraska and Seattle Pacific University. As a visiting team, Bruno began on the floor exercise before moving to vault, bars and ending on beam. The Bears edged out Seattle Pacific to claim third in the tournament.

Floor was the Bears’ forte, as five out of six gymnasts posted career-high scores. Morgan Hagenbuch ’19 opened the competition with a 9.600, and Maggie McAvoy ’18 followed up with a personal best of 9.550. Julia Green ’19 and Anne Christman ’20 topped their previous bests with a 9.575 and a 9.775, respectively. Anya Olson ’18 notched her highest floor score yet as well, a 9.800. To end a record-setting rotation, Caroline Morant ’17 became only the third gymnast in Brown’s history to score a 9.925 on floor, earning second place. Morant tied a program high set by Olympian Alicia Sacramone in 2007, which was also matched by Danielle Hoffman ’15 in 2014.

“I definitely had a lot more confidence watching everyone else do such good routines before me,” Morant said of her near-perfect performance. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, that was probably one of the best routines I’ve done.’”

After combining the top five scores, the Bears earned a season-high 48.675 and turned to the vault. Jorden Mitchell ’17 made her first appearance of the season on vault, earning a 9.550. Green put up a 9.625 followed by Olson, who tied her personal best of 9.575, bringing the team total to 96.400.

Claire Ryan ’18 started the Bears off with a 9.675 on the uneven bars, while Olson tied her personal best of 9.775. A season-high 48.500 on bars brought the team total to 144.900 going into the final event.

For the second week in a row, Christman performed a solid beam routine to earn a 9.650. The team built on her score with 9.700s from Green and Mitchell.

Morant finished third in the all-around and the Bears ended up in third place behind Nebraska and Lindenwood.

With only a day’s break in between, the team chalked up for another competition against Lindenwood and Seattle Pacific Sunday. Mitchell earned a 9.725 on beam to start, leading the team to a 48.225 before moving to the floor. 

Keeping with Friday’s trend, McAvoy raised her personal best score to a 9.600. Christman received an identical score, and Olson put up a 9.750. Morant contributed a 9.850 to capture third on the event and bring the team score to 96.500.

Bruno had a steady vault rotation that featured a 9.725 from Green, sandwiched between a pair of 9.600s from Ally Rudd ’20 and Olson. A season high 48.350 put the team in second place, leading Seattle Pacific by a full point with a team score of 144.850 going into the last rotation.

After seven rotations spanning two days of competition, the team finished its busy weekend on the uneven bars, where Olson tied her career-high and earned third place with a 9.775. Brown’s last routine in Missouri belonged to Morant, who scored a 9.750.

The team finished in second with a 193.325, besting Seattle Pacific by over a point. Morant claimed the all-around title again, with a 39.025.

“It definitely boosted our confidence because we got our top two scores of the season this weekend, and we proved that we can be consistent,” Morant said. “Now we know we can hit our routines, and it’s just a matter of polishing and cleaning things up. We’re all really excited.”

The next time the Bears compete will be at Yale Saturday for the Ivy Classic, where Brown hopes to defend its title from last season.

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