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Bears bounce back with season-high total at Connecticut contest

Morant ’17 leads Bears with third-place all-around score in second-place team performance

After an unexpected fourth-place finish at the Ivy Classic last weekend, the gymnastics team bounced back in two early-week competitions, tying for second place with Yale Sunday before posting a season-high 193.425 Tuesday.

“We wanted to go out there, do our best and prove from last week that we could come back,” Caroline Morant ’17 said.

Brown traveled to the University of New Hampshire for Sunday’s tri-meet, where Morant placed third in the all-around, winning the vault and taking third in the floor exercise.

After starting on uneven bars, the Bears put last week’s mistakes behind them on the balance beam as all five scores were above 9.600. Regan Butchness ’18 and Jorden Mitchell ’17 notched matching 9.725s. Halfway through the competition, Brown trailed second-place Yale by one-quarter of a point.

Bruno closed that gap on floor —  going into the final rotation, Brown inched into second place by less than a tenth of a point.

On vault, Morant claimed the event title with a 9.800, going on to place third in the all-around with a 39.075.

What should have been a comeback second-place finish for Brown turned into a tie after a balance beam judge failed to deduct points for a Yale gymnast’s fall, according to several Brown gymnasts. Due to the error, both teams finished with a 193.175.

“You can’t control scores. You can’t control judges,” Mitchell said. We “have to do what we can control, which is go out there and do our routines. That was something that was out of our control.”

The Bears looked to be back in the driver’s seat Tuesday during a quad meet hosted by Division II foe, University of Bridgeport. Southern Connecticut and Rhode Island College were also in attendance.

Morant followed with another strong performance, placing in the top three in three events and in the all-around.

Brown began on bars, and Anya Olson ’18 stuck her double back tuck dismount to earn a 9.700 and third place.

After a team pep talk, Bruno attacked beam with a newfound confidence, scoring a season-high 48.800. Morant received a 9.850 to nab second place, and Mitchell scored a solid 9.800 to close out the second rotation.

At the competition’s midpoint, it looked as though Bridgeport and Southern Connecticut would claim the top two spots, but the rankings changed swiftly as Brown took the floor. Sky-high tumbling passes and clean split leaps earned Morant a 9.875 and a tie for third. After three events, Brown sat in second with a comfortable lead of more than two points over third-place Southern Connecticut.

A season-high 48.475 on vault guaranteed a second-place finish over Southern Connecticut and Rhode Island College. Morant and Mitchell finished second and third on the event with scores of 9.775 and 9.725, respectively. The pair also tied for third in the all-around with 38.625s.

“It was so exhilarating to watch all the girls before you go and nail it­ —just knowing that your teammates are there for you,” Mitchell said. 

The Bears hope to maintain this energy as they compete on the road one last time at Springfield Saturday before hosting the ECAC Championship on March 18.



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