Today: Apr 23, 2024

Gymnastics team starts semester with career bests

Avery Martin- Contributor

The university’s gymnastics team has shown promising results at recent meets and continues to improve. On Jan. 21, the Owls recorded several career high scores in three of the four apparatuses in a meet against Division I competitors Yale, Long Island University and University of New Hampshire. 

Gymast Gigi Mastellone, a freshman, scored a career best of 9.800 on the uneven bars. She says that improving on small details is behind the results.  

“In the next meet, I want to improve and just get better each time on bars. I’m going to have the same bar routine, so each time I get to just work on those little details and get better on the little stuff,” Mastellone said. 

Gymnast Brianna Dorr, a junior, also scored a career best of 9.75 on vault at the same meet. The result was especially important to Dorr, who recently returned to competition after surgery.  

“I’ve tried to do everything I can to stay strong, so when I came back to doing gymnastics the transition wasn’t that hard. Then, I just took it step by step,” Dorr said. 

Head Coach Byron Knox said the key for the Owls is staying consistent in all events.  

“We’ve basically been working on consistency. Those career bests are happening sporadically. We need them to get more consistent so we can put together all those scores and post a team-high score rather than an individual,” Knox said. 

Knox hopes that as the season progresses, the Owls will not let a desire for a high score overshadow their dependability and continuous approach.  

“The goal is to not worry so much about the score. Let’s hit the routines. So if we have 24 competitors competing, we want to see 24 routines being done,” Knox said.  

Dorr said that part of the aim for consistency includes working on small form techniques that influence entire routines.  

“There’s always something we can improve on. Obviously sticking the landing is really important,” Dorr said, “getting a good block off the table, having straight arms, good form, and being in a good position and stuff like that. I’m working on it this week to prepare for the next meet”. 

Mastellone agrees. She also notes that a positive approach to the sport and a hard working attitude have allowed her to push through days in which she struggled to reach higher scores and better routines.  

“Honestly, you just got to keep doing the same thing. Every practice, no matter how you practice, you just have to always go out there and do your best,” Mastellone said. “Every day, we come into the gym, and we do all our assignments and push through no matter if it is a good day or a bad day.” 

As for the remainder of the season, it is clear that the team goal is to appear once again at the NCAA Championships.  

“The team’s goal is to improve every meet that we have and every week get a little higher score and hit all our routines. Just have confidence in each other. Our main goal is to make it to nationals again this year,” Dorr said.  

The Owls are back on the floor, bars, beam and vault on Feb. 4 and Feb. 10.  

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