PHILADELPHIA – A much-improved performance on the uneven bars left the Ursinus College gymnastics team just a hair shy of its best score of the season as the Bears took on a trio of Ivy League squads at Penn's historic Palestra on Sunday afternoon.
The Bears posted an even 45.000 on the bars, a season best by nearly two full points, on the way to falling a tenth of a point short of their highest team total of the year with a 183.025. The host Quakers finished with a 193.900 to claim the meet title and were followed by Cornell (191.125) and Brown (191.000).
Ursinus scored 46.850 on the floor, 46.575 on the vault, 45.000 on the bars, and 44.600 on the balance beam.
Showcasing their talents in a world-famous arena, and during a competition broadcast on ESPN Plus, the Bears were strong across the board on the floor exercise. Competing in the event for the first time, freshman Emma Brown nailed her set and garnered a team-leading 9.600 to tie for 10th place overall in a remarkable debut. Senior Matisen O'Brien netted a season-high 9.450, a tally equaled by sophomore Hailey DiCicco, and sophomore Autumn Snape also corralled a season-best score with a 9.300.
Freshman Emma Gable's personal record 9.375 was the headliner on the bars as the Bears compiled by far their best effort to date. Senior co-captain Lindsay Rush shattered her previous season high with a 9.225, and freshman Taylor Cusick hit 9.000 for the first time in her short career to give Ursinus three gymnasts with at least that score for the first time this season. DiCicco and classmate Danielle Terrenzio each scored an 8.700.
Rush continued to be the standard bearer in the vault, where her 9.525 was good for a new season high and placed her in a tie for 11th in the individual standings. Gable complemented her career-best performance on the bars with another on the vault, a 9.425 that left her just ahead of DiCicco's second straight 9.375 and Brown's 9.350.
O'Brien easily cleared a season high with a 9.400 on the balance beam, and freshman Kaylin Knapsack was just off her personal benchmark with a 9.350.
The gymnastics team heads to Cortland on Saturday, February 9 for a tri-meet that also includes West Chester.