Anchored by clutch performances from its first-years, the gymnastics team finished just shy of second place at a quad meet hosted by Springfield College. Bruno posted a 190.600 to beat the Pride but fell short of overtaking Brockport State and first-place Southern Connecticut State University.
“It was our first quad meet, so it was a lot of energy and it was really loud,” said Emma Hansen ’21. “It was way different from the first two meets because there was just so much more going on, but I think we handled the pressure and the excitement really well.”
Injuries plagued the Bears’ lineups this week, but both rookies and returners stepped up to fill absences on all four events.
“We knew going into it that we had kind of a short lineup on each event because we had so many girls on the side, but overall it was a really great meet for learning,” said Anya Barca-Hall ’18. “A lot of girls who weren’t necessarily 100 percent ready to go had to step up for their team members who were out.”
Rose Domonoske ’21 kicked off the competition by leading Brown on floor exercise. Though still recovering from an ankle injury, she earned a 9.150 for her first collegiate floor routine. Hansen built on Domonoske’s score, adding a 9.700 to the team total. After sitting out the 2017 season with an injury, Barca-Hall returned to the floor lineup last week against the University of Bridgeport and wrapped up the first rotation at Springfield with a career-high 9.675.
Bruno’s second rotation marked the first collegiate vault by Diana Manzano ’20 since recovering from an injury that kept her out of the 2017 season. Manzano recorded a 9.500, and Anne Christman ’20 followed with a 9.525 to claim second place on the event.
The Bears also proved their strength and showed off some depth on the uneven bars as three first-years hit big routines under pressure. After co-captain Claire Ryan ’18 placed second with 9.675, Caroline Warren ’21 kept the momentum swinging by earning a 9.625. Hansen ensured Bruno finished the third rotation with a bang by posting a 9.750 and winning her second bars title of the season.
Brown closed out the meet on what most consider the most nerve-wracking event: the balance beam.
“Right before we started beam, our coach just said to take a breath, calm ourselves and then just attack the event,” Barca-Hall said. “That’s something we’ve been working on — trying to be more present during competitions and not let nerves get to us especially when we end on beam.”
Ryan started the rotation with a 9.650 to give Bruno a solid start. Domonoske tallied a personal-best 9.600 and beam specialist Regan Butchness ’18 scored a 9.725 to finish in second on the apparatus and end Bruno’s competition.
The gymnastics team will be back in action Sunday for its annual Beauty and the Beast meet with the wrestling team.
“We’re really excited for our first home meet,” Hansen said. “We’re excited to get back out there and hopefully get a couple people back in the lineups, but even if we keep the lineups from this weekend we’ll still have a really strong set.”
Bruno will host Bridgeport and Rhode Island College in the Pizzitola Sports Center Sunday at noon.