Season-best scores on vault and floor and personal-best performances by multiple gymnasts lifted the gymnastics team to new heights as it tallied a 193.325, its highest mark of the season, while on the road at the University of Maryland. The Bears traveled to College Park for a quad meet where they faced tough competition. Bruno finished fourth behind the College of William and Mary, Rutgers University and the hosting Terrapins. But the team came away from the competition feeling accomplished.
“This is what we’ve been working for,” said Head Coach Sara Carver-Milne. “Each meet we’ve come so close to this result but had one too many mistakes, so it’s been frustrating. ... Before the competition, even yesterday, all of us at different times of the day were saying that we really feel like this is going to be the meet where we put it all together and realize our potential. So it was really rewarding.”
Bruno began the meet on floor exercise and erased memories of last week’s mistakes by posting a 48.050.
“(Floor) was a big test for us because ... last week that’s where we made all of our mistakes,” Carver-Milne said. “Coming into this meet in a big arena at the University of Maryland with teams from the Big 10, there was a lot of pressure, but there was a calmness over the team. They were confident.”
Anne Christman ’20 kicked off Brown’s best performance to date with a season-high 9.625, and Anya Olson ’18 followed with a season-best 9.700. Julia Green ’19 added a 9.575, and Anya Barca-Hall ’18 closed the Bears’ first rotation by earning a career-high 9.700.
“The energy was great,” Olson said. “We knew vault scores were hopefully going to be higher than at different meets, so that kept building energy because we were definitely getting scores that we wouldn’t have gotten at other meets.”
The Bears carried that positivity to the vault where all six gymnasts raised or matched their season-best scores to notch a 48.100. Christman remained composed in the leadoff position, posting a 9.550. A solid front handspring front pike from Green earned her a 9.675, and Alyssa Gardner ’21 delivered in the anchor position, upping the team score with a 9.750.
Riding the momentum of much-improved marks on floor and vault, Bruno took to its strongest event, the uneven bars. Co-captain Claire Ryan ’18 earned a 9.725 for her first routine of the meet while Olson finished her day with a season-high 9.775. Kate Nelson ’21 matched Ryan’s score, and Emma Hansen ’21 tied her personal-best 9.850 to finish third. The Bears came away with a 48.750, repeating the season-high they set on bars at home last Sunday.
After three strong rotations, Brown closed out the competition on balance beam where all six gymnasts hit their routines for the second consecutive week.
“The last couple of meets, they’ve just really figured things out,” Carver-Milne said. “They’ve gotten way beyond the nerves and really have been able to focus on the details and performing. There absolutely was not one blip today where we felt like we lost confidence.”
Rose Domonoske ’21 showed no signs of nerves as she landed her back handspring layout stepout series with ease and posted a career-high 9.750. Hansen followed with a 9.625, and Regan Butchness ’18 added another 9.750 to Bruno’s team total. Green put on the Bears’ final performance of the day, earning a 9.700 to bring up the final 193.325 and put Brown .325 behind third-place William and Mary.
“It was a great turning point because we could have gone down a bad path of not believing in ourselves,” Olson said. “We kind of went into this meet with a different attitude and a newfound confidence. ... Coming out of it, there’s this new hope that it’s still going to be a great season. We’re right in the running for Ivy (Classics) and ECACs.”
The Bears go back on the road next weekend as they fly south for a quad meet at North Carolina State University Saturday. Brown will also compete against the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina Feb. 17 before chalking up for a meet versus the Tarheels Feb. 19.