Knapsack Thrives in Gymnastics Opener

Knapsack Thrives in Gymnastics Opener

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Kaylin Knapsack put together a pair of stunning performances on the beam and floor exercise to highlight a nice season-opening effort for the Ursinus College gymnastics team in a home dual with Cortland on Sunday.

Knapsack notched personal bests on both events to lead the way for the Bears, who were on the short end of a 184.275-181.525 decision against their NCGA East foes. She finished second on the beam with a 9.650 and capped the lid-lifter with a 9.750 to earn a well-deserved individual title on the floor.

Breanna Couts kicked off her senior season with a career-best 9.525 in the vault, enough to land just .025 points behind the Red Dragons' Emma Schulz for first place. Taylor Cusick impressed in her vault debut, taking third with a 9.450 to help Ursinus post a 46.525, easily its highest of the afternoon. Emma Gable, one of the Bears' top vault performers as a rookie, opened her campaign with a 9.250 to take fifth. Rookie Alex Panetta scored a 9.175 in her debut, and Hailey DiCicco tallied a 9.125.

Panetta wowed the Helfferich Hall faithful with a sensational routine on the uneven bars, posting a 9.625 to run away with first prize. Abigail Schwerdt was third with a 9.325, matching the second-best score of her career.

Knapsack was the lone Bear to place among the top five on the balance beam, and did so with a sparkling routine that earned her a 9.650 to narrowly clear her previous personal standard. Schwerdt garnered a 9.075 in her first career appearance on the beam, and Skylar Haas scored 8.900.

Knapsack and Haas were terrific on the floor, where Knapsack managed to surpass last year's individual record of 9.700. Haas' 9.500 was good for a runner-up finish and matched the third-best regular-season score of her career.

A trio of rookies were in the line-up for their first collegiate competition, with Shruthi Anand and Alyssa DeLorme joining Panetta. Anand scored 8.950 on the vault and 8.600 on bars, while DeLorme had an 8.050 on the bars.

Ursinus' team score was nearly a point and a half better than last year's season opener.

The Bears head to Rutgers next Saturday, where they will stand as the lone Division III squad in a quad meet that also features Minnesota and Bowling Green.