Stahlbrodt shining in rookie year

Matt GadSports Writer

It has been a year of big-time performances for women’s gymnastics freshman Hannah Stahlbrodt, one of the only Owls that compete in every event on competition day.

As part of a rejuvenating look on the team, its largest sized squad ever, as coach Jerry Nelson has said, Stahlbrodt has been able to set new marks meet in and meet out.

“Since the Yale meet, I have gotten better and it is getting more fun as the season goes on,” Stahlbrodt said. In the team’s last meet on March 1, where they faced both Towson and Bridgeport, Stahlbrodt was responsible for collecting 38.125 points, winning the floor exercise and also scored well in her three-out event categories on the bars, balance beam and in the vault.

“To have someone come in strong and do all four events is a boost for the team. This is one of the strongest teams since I have been here,” senior co-captain Kylyn Dawkins said. “The chemistry has always been good but it is different this year.”

On Feb. 17, where the team met Springfield College and Ithica College Shalbrodt walked away with a program record 39.050 points in the team’s meet at Springfield College against the Pride and Ithaca. With a 9.850 on bars she tied a program record, as well.

“Her consistency is a big thing for us,” senior co-captain Tiffany Coleman said. “It is definitely hard to do four events so it is very impressive, especially as a freshman.”

Stahlbrodt, who has also been honored by the ECAC this season, said she did not know what to expect coming into the team.

“This was beyond what I expected and it is way better,” she said. “My expectations were set at what I thought I could do, which was three events like everyone else and I exceeded my expectations.”

Stahlbrodt said everyone typically competed in four events during the club level but that when people come to college they usually just work on their specialties.

“Hopefully, as a team, we break 193 points, which would be a new school record,” she said. “Hopefully I will keep exceeding my own goals and the team goals, too, and I can keep getting better.”

Friday the team will compete against Temple, West Chester and Maryland and then they will face off against Maryland, Penn State and Brown in College Park, Md. over the weekend.

“We just want to continue going up. We have broken several records already this year,” Dawkins said. “Our goal was to start off how we left off last year and we have already had our highest season-opening score ever so just want to stay consistent.”

The team would like to keep trying to break the all-time scoring record, she said, and every meet they are just trying to achieve that feat.

“Even though we do not win against other teams we are getting personal highs. We do not always have to win but it is just about that team score,” Coleman said. “We are breaking records every meet almost, which is good.”

On March 16, the team will have its Senior Day at home against Bridgeport before they then travel to the University of Bridgeport, the home of the Purple Knights for ECACs a week later and Nationals starting April 11, if the team or individuals qualify.

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