COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Amanda Palladino won two events and Alexandra Puryear captured another to headline an impressive Senior Day performance for the Ursinus College gymnastics team in its regular-season finale.
Palladino took home top prize on both the uneven bars and the balance beam and Puryear won the vault to lift the Bears to their first dual-meet victory of the year, a 187.300-181.150 rout of Rhode Island College in the final tune-up for the NCGA East Championships. Sophomore Eleanor LaFountain placed first on the floor for the second time and tied Puryear on vault.
After honoring Palladino and Puryear alongside fellow seniors Heather Brubaker, Kelly McLaughlin, and Kelsey Stewart prior to the meet, Ursinus proceeded to pick up its best score of the year on the beam. Ursinus accrued 47.800 on the beam, 47.200 on floor, 46.800 on the vault, and 45.500 on bars.
Palladino notched her second consecutive 9.675 to pace a terrific team effort on the balance beam, which saw Ursinus place all six of its entrants at 9.400 or above. Sophomore Autumn Snape was exceptional, logging a career-best 9.6250 to place second. Sophomore Skylar Haas' 9.575 was good for fourth place.
McLaughlin netted a 9.450 to finish sixth, while Puryear (9.425) and junior Matisen O'Brien (9.400) rounded out the Bears' scoring.
The Bears started with a remarkably balanced effort on vault, as the top five in the lineup were separated by just a tenth of a point. Puryear and LaFountain each scored 9.400 to lead the way, while McLaughlin matched Stewart with a season-best 9.350 to tie for third.
As she has been for much of the season, Palladino was Ursinus' premier performer on the uneven bars. Palladino tallied her second 9.600 in as many meets, giving her at least that high a score in four of seven appearances this season. Rush was right behind with a career-best 9.550 just a week after registering a 9.500 at Rutgers.
Brubaker notched a 9.300 in an exhibition routine, while Stewart earned a 9.200.
The Bears finished up with the floor exercise, where LaFountain continued to maintain her high standards with a 9.675. LaFountain, who entered the dual ranked fifth in Division III in season-average score, has tallied at least a 9.600 in all but one meet this season.
Haas was runner-up with a personal-best 9.450, which Puryear equaled to tie for second. Lacey finished tied for fourth with a career-high 9.425.
The gymnastics team now braces for the NCGA East Championships, set for March 10 at Rhode Island College. The top three teams at the regional championship qualify for nationals; Ursinus is currently ranked fifth in the East Region in SAS.