WEST CHESTER, Pa. – The Ursinus College gymnastics team opened the 2018 season with a solid performance at a quad meet hosted by West Chester on Saturday.
The Bears received a number of strong performances from its senior class en route to posting a team score of 184.925. The host Golden Rams won the meet with a 189.825, while Ithaca took second at 186.150 and Springfield was third at 185.800.
Led by McLaughlin, the Bears put up an impressive showing on the balance beam. McLaughlin's career-best 9.775 was good for second place, just a quarter of a point behind West Chester's Sarah Boyd, and helped Ursinus compile a team tally of 47.475.
Palladino tied for fourth at 9.725, matching her highest beam score of the previous year. Classmate Heather Brubaker, who competed on the beam just once in 2017, scored an even 9.400 to place 12th, and first-time beam participant Matisen O'Brien was right behind in 13th with a 9.325. Sophomore Autumn Snape rounded out the Bears' top five at 9.250.
Ursinus was also strong on the floor, tallying a 46.350 behind Puryear, who tied for third place with a 9.550. Sophomore Eleanor LaFountain and senior Kelsey Stewart finished tied for seventh following matching scores of 9.375, and sophomore Breanna Couts logged a 9.175.
Junior Lindsay Rush was the top performer on uneven bars, recording a 9.250 to place seventh. Brubaker (8.950) and Palladino (8.925) were just shy of the 9-point range.
The Bears closed the afternoon with a 46.550 on the vault. Brubaker, the team's top vaulter with a 9.5875 season average score a year ago, led the way with a 9.475 that landed her in a tie for fourth overall. Freshman Danielle Terrenzio stood out in her debut, garnering a 9.325, and McLaughlin was a quarter-point behind at an even 9.300.
Puryear and Rush each netted a 9.225; dating back to last season, Ursinus' top five vault scores were all at that number or above for the fourth time in five meets.
The Bears welcome West Chester to Helfferich Hall for their home opener on Sunday, January 21.