SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA – The Brown gymnastics team put forth a stellar performance against premier competition this afternoon, finishing second in the first of two team qualifying rounds at the 2013 USAG Collegiate Nationals. The Bears' score of 190.825 earns them a berth in the Team Finals tomorrow night at 7:00pm where they will compete for the USAG National title.
"This is the first year the team has qualified as a whole to Nationals," said head coach Sara Carver-Milne. "It was a fight to the finish during prelims to secure our spot in team finals! The team motto this season is 'Our Team, Our Terms, Our Time!', and the team's determination and belief in our motto has led to our history-making success!"
The Bears opened the day on beam, where they finished with a team score of 47.150. Senior Julia Meyer (Granite City, IL) earned the top mark for the squad, receiving a 9.700. Classmate Emily Lutfey (Los Angeles, CA) turned in a 9.525, while junior Michelle Shnayder (Lincolnshire, IL) and freshman Corey Holman (Westford, MA) both added scores of 9.425 to the team total.
Floor was a particularly strong event for Brown, as the six gymnasts combined for a 48.050. Lutfey led the group with a 9.700 and Shnayder turned in an impressive 9.675. Holman and senior Nicole Abdo (Largo, FL) also nailed their routines, both contributing scores of 9.600.
The team took on its strongest event in the third rotation, turning in solid performances across the board to earn a 48.350 on vault. Lutfey continued her impressive day with a team-high 9.725, while sophomore Danielle Hoffman (Bedford, NY) produced a 9.700. Freshman Diana Walters (Austin, TX) earned a 9.675, just slightly ahead of junior Katie Rogers (Bethesda, MD) who added a 9.650.
Battling to the finish, Brown clinched its berth in the finals with a 47.275 on the bars. Freshman Alexandra Chretien (Commerce Township, MI) lead the Bears with a 9.550, just slightly ahead of senior co-captain Kasey Haas (Charlotte, NC) who finished with a 9.525. Shnayder and senior co-captain Lauren Hall (Charlton, MA) added matching scores of 9.425.
Texas Woman's finished in first place with a score of 194.100 and will join Brown tomorrow night in the Team Finals at Centenary College's Golden Dome. Air Force finished third with a score of 190.750, while Cornell rounded out the field with a 189.250. The second qualifying round will take place this evening, and the top two teams from that session will join the Bears and the Pioneers in tomorrow's competition at 7:00pm.