Providence, RI- In today's season-opening gymnastics meet, the Brown University gymnastics team showed no signs of nerves as they racked up a team point total of 188.050, Brown's highest scoring first meet ever. Overall, the Bears finished in third place, as six-time ECAC Champions Towson finished in first with 191.050, and two-time national champion Bridgeport finished second with 190.100.
The Bears started off on the vault and combined for a team score of 46.900. Towson's Avis Hixon led all gymnasts with a 9.850, and Bridgeport's Monica Mesalles finished second with a 9.825. The Bears locked up 10-14th place, with sophomore Emily Lutfey (Los Angeles, CA) earning the Bears top score with a 9.450. Junior Katie Goddard (Kings Park, NY) followed with a 9.400 for 11th, while rookies Rebecca Freedman (Plainview, NY) and Michelle Shnayder (Lincolnshire, IL) finished in 12th and 13th places, respectively, with a 9.375 and a 9.350 in their first collegiate meets. In 14th place was junior Carli Wiesenfeld (Atlanta, GA) with a 9.325 and freshman Madeline Benz (Chester, NJ) posted a 9.250 for 15th.
The Bears tallied a total of 46.950 on the bars, as Lutfey was Brown's top performer once again with a personal record 9.600 for fifth place. Sophomore Lauren Hall (Charlton, MA) had a great performance with a personal record 9.5 for eighth place, and Wiesenfeld earned 13th with a 9.400, sophomore Julia Meyer (Granite City, IL) finished 14th with a 9.300 and sophomore Nicole Abdo (Largo, FL) scored a 9.150. Rounding out the Bears' lineup was sophomore Kasey Haas (Carlotte, NC), who finished 17th overall with a 9.050. Towson's Kacy Catanzara won the event with a 9.675, while Bridgeport's Natalie Saimeri and Lorraine Galow tied for second with a 9.650.
On the beam, Brown senior captain Victoria Zanelli (Katy TX) had a big performance for Bruno to earn second place with a 9.600. Lutfey finished in sixth place with a 9.450, and Benz followed closely behind with a 9.425. Meyer came in ninth for the Bears with a 9.225 and Haas and Freedman finished with an 8.875 and an 8.850. The squad compiled a team score of 46.575. Bridgeport's Emily Repko earned the title with a 9.700, and Towson's Alexa Davis tied Zanelli for second with a 9.600.
In Brown's final event of the afternoon, the floor exercise, Lutfey had a stellar performance to finish with a personal record 9.800 to capture fourth place. Goddard's routine earned a personal record 9.750 for fifth place, and Wiesenfeld finished with a 9.3 for 16th. Haas posted a 9.200 for 17th and Shnayder received an 8.9 for 18th. The Bears combined for an overall score of 47.625.
With just three all-around performers today, Bridgeport's Galow finished in first with a 38.575, and Lutfey earned a 38.300 for second. Bridgeport's Monica Mesalles combined for a 38.125 for third place.
The Bears will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 22 when they travel to Piscataway, New Jersey to challenge Rutgers, Penn and North Carolina at 1 p.m.