UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Stephanie Giameo and Kathy Tang led the Terps as the Maryland gymnastics team ended the 2014 season with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA University Park Regional competition Saturday evening.
Giameo notched Maryland’s highest scores on beam and floor, and Kathy Tang hit the team’s highest marks on vault and bars as the Terps totaled a 194.525. Giameo’s 9.825 on beam tied for fifth place and Tang’s 9.850 on vault tied for 10th. As the lone all-around competitor for the Terps, Giameo tied Florida’s Bridget Sloan and New Hampshire’s Meghan Pflieger for ninth place with a 39.050.
"Kathy and Steph had great nights,” head coach Brett Nelligan said. “They both love competing on the big stage, they have that ability to just let it fly."
Defending NCAA champion Florida won the regional competition totaling a 197.050. Host Penn State finished second with a 196.725. With the top two scores of the meet, Florida and Penn State will both advance to the NCAA Championships. Oregon State took third with a 196.525 and Kentucky was fourth with a 195.925. New Hampshire totaled 195.025 for fifth.
Maryland started the night on beam and notched a total score of 48.600. Entering tonight’s competition, the Terps averaged a 48.142 on the event. Giameo hit a huge 9.825 for the Terps, which earned her Maryland’s best finish of the night with fifth place. Sarah Faller, Dani Kram and Shannon Skochko all tied with scores of 9.725, which resulted in a tie for 22nd.
In the second rotation, Maryland had a few stumbles on floor, but Giameo again led the way for the Terps with a 9.800. Ebony Walters went out of bounds, but still scored a 9.775 for Maryland’s second-best mark on floor. Alex Zimmermann added a 9.750 for 27th, and the Terps totaled a 48.250 on the event.
"Floor was really uncharacteristic for us,” Nelligan said. “I just told the team to leave it there and let’s come out aggressive and attack vault. They did a great job getting the momentum back up again."
The Terps headed to vault in the second rotation and got back on track posting a season-best 49.075. Kathy Tang hit a 9.850, which earned her a 10th-place finish. Nikola Chung and Karen Tang both scored 9.825. The score was a season best for Chung and resulted in 17th-place finishes for both girls.
In Maryland’s final event of the night, Kathy Tang continued with her momentum from vault and hit the Terps’ highest score on bars with a 9.800 for 12th place. Karen Tang was just behind with a 9.775 for 15th and Elizabethe Manzi, who led off on the event, scored a 9.725 for 23rd. Maryland totaled a 48.600 on its final event of the evening.
"I told the team I was proud of what we've done this season and how far we've come after such a tough start to the year. This year just making it was great, but next year we want to do more."