Feb. 17, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Sophomore Stephanie Giameo set a new personal record of 39.250 in the all-around to help propel the No. 18 Maryland gymnastics team past West Virginia and Rutgers Sunday night at the Comcast Center.
The Terrapins (9-1-1, 6-1-1 EAGL) trailed after three rotations, but used a strong floor performance to overcome West Virginia (6-5, 1-1 Big 12) and finish off Rutgers (7-8, 1-3 EAGL) with a team score of 196.175 in the team's annual Pink Meet.
"We've been flirting with this 196 for the last couple weeks," said head coach Brett Nelligan. "This is important for us. We made a big jump this year, moving into the top 18. To continue moving up, we've got to start scoring 196s. This is the first step, not just for this day or this season, but for the program overall."
Maryland began the night with another strong showing on vault, notching a score of 49.100. Senior Ally Krikorian and junior Katy Dodds, ranked 12th and fourth nationally on the event, respectively, once again anchored the Terps with two 9.875s. Giameo also set her personal record on the event with a 9.800.
On uneven bars, the Terps gave their weakest performance of the meet, but did enough to stay afloat. Dodds continued her standout night, achieving a personal best of 9.800. Giameo and senior Kesley Cofsky also showed well, attaining a 9.75 and 9.825, respectively.
Maryland started its move to the front on beam with a very respectable 48.975. Giameo, the fourth-ranked beam worker in the nation, once again showed her worth, scoring a 9.875 that not only won the individual beam title, but also gave the Terps momentum going into the final rotation.
Once on floor, the Terrapins didn't look back, and clinched the meet victory with a spectacular 49.425. No gymnast went under 9.825 as the Terrapins had four performers either tie or set personal bests. Dodds ended her night with a flourish, scoring a 9.950 for the second consecutive meet. Krikorian, ranked ninth in the nation in the event, and Junior Ebony Walkers were also strong, attaining 9.900s from the judges.
"[Before floor] I said, `This is it, this is the end. You've got to go all out and compete with your heart,'" said Nelligan. "We also said that this is our house. We've got to do everything in our power to protect our house."
Giameo's all-around score was good enough for second behind West Virginia's Kaylyn Millick, who scored a 39.350. Dodds won the floor title, with junior Ebony Walters and Krikorian finishing in second behind her.
The Terps raised money for the Pink Ribbons Project in this year's Pink Meet, and breast cancer survivors were honored before the meet.
Maryland returns to the floor next Friday for a quad meet. The Terps will take on Bridgeport, George Washington and Pittsburgh, with action scheduled to begin at 7 p.m from the Comcast Center.