Gymnastics sets new season-high total in home victory

Media Credit: Madeleine Cook | Staff Photographer

Senior Alex Zois performs her beam routine during a gymnastics meet at the Smith Center Sunday.

Updated: March 4, 2018 at 10:21 p.m.

In its third home meet, gymnastics posted its best score of the season Sunday afternoon – validating the Colonials rise to No. 17 in the national rankings.

GW grabbed first place with a score of 196.825, defeating second-place Maryland (195.825), Towson (195.250) and Rutgers (193.550). The win extended the Colonials’ streak to a perfect 4-0 record in East Atlantic Gymnastics League action and the season-high team score fell just 0.05 points shy of their program record.

Head coach Margie Foster-Cunningham said the team’s attention to detail has been key in elevating its scores this season.

“We always say ‘confidence is king but focus is queen,’ and we need both of the royal family with us to finish out strong,” Foster-Cunningham said. “Our focus is small but very intentional and I’m very proud of how focused they are.”

It was an unusually busy weekend for the Colonials, who returned to the Smith Center for the first time in more than a month after a tri-meet win at Towson Friday.

“It’s kind of nice to have two meets in a row, because you can take what went well from the last meet and bring it to the next,” senior Cami Drouin-Allaire said. “I think we took what went well and what went not-so-well and used it to make us even better today.”

Drouin-Allaire had a career meet, improving her personal all-around score for the third meet in a row with a conference-high 39.600. Senior Jillian Winstanley took second place in the competition with a score of 39.425.

Arielle Bader | Hatchet Photographer

Head coach Margie Foster-Cunningham talks to a gymnast during a gymnastics meet at the Smith Center Sunday.

The Colonials began the afternoon on vault, where Drouin-Allaire debuted a new skill in front of the home crowd. Her double-twisting Yurchenko, one of the hardest vaults thrown at the NCAA level, was good for first place with a score of 9.925.

“The first time I did it was on Friday, but doing it at home in front of everyone I know was really special,” Drouin-Allaire said. “I’ve been eager to do that vault, so it was really nice to do it so well.”

GW defended its No. 8 national ranking on vault with a lineup of stuck landings. Winstanley tied Towson’s Cortni Baker for second on the vault with a score of 9.875.

The Colonials followed with a season-high 49.175 on the uneven bars – an event Foster-Cunnigham said they have been working to improve all season. Drouin-Allaire shared the top honors on the event with Maryland’s Kirsten Peterman, scoring 9.900. Winstanley’s captured third place with a score of 9.875.

The Colonials again broke a season-high record in their third rotation on the beam. Drouin-Allaire and freshman specialist Hannah Cohen both matched their season highs with scores of 9.875 and 9.825, respectively. GW topped the podium with senior Liz Pfeiler placing first with a 9.900, followed by Drouin-Allaire and Winstanley in a four-way tie for second.

Madeleine Cook | Staff Photographer

Gymnasts line up on the floor waiting to hear the results from a meet at the Smith Center Sunday.

Foster-Cunningham said the contributions of event specialists was pivotal in putting up high scores for the team competition, singling out Cohen’s performance on the uneven bars and beam.

“I’m really happy with some of the freshman I put out there today,” Foster-Cunningham said. “They’re coming in at a very elevated level of performance, and I was very happy with what I saw from them.”

Closing out the afternoon on the floor exercise, the Colonials showcased their high-energy tumbling style to cement the win. Drouin-Allaire captured her third event title of the day, tying Maryland’s Audrey Barber with a score of 9.900. Senior Alex Zois and senior Madeline Seibold also made the podium in a three-way tie for third place with scores of 9.850.

Foster-Cunningham said the performances this weekend proved the team is ready to make a statement at the national level once the postseason rolls around.

“I feel like we’re right where we want to be right now,” Foster-Cunningham said. “We keep getting better every time we come out and we’re elevating our expectations coming into the championship season.”

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly identified the gymnast in the photo caption. It is senior Alex Zois. We regret this error.

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