Mar. 3, 1997
Maryland Gymastics Mid-Season Report
After amassing 25 wins and reaching its goal ofparticipating in the Southeast Regionals last year, the MarylandTerrapin Gymnastics Team looked to 1997 with a great deal ofexcitement and anticipation.
Despite the Terps' most challenging schedule ever andthe grind of taking on teams with more scholarships and funding,the Terrapins are in the same position as they were last year:battling for a spot in the Southeast Regionals. And along theway, there have been some tough losses, some terrific wins, andSIX individual and team records broken.
In its first meet of the season, Maryland's got off onthe right foot as they broke 190 against previously undefeatedRhode Island. The 190.775 effort was aided by freshman RachelDolbin who, in her first collegiate meet, tied the Terrapinindividual record with a 9.85 on the beam. Junior Megyn Byrnesalso shined as she won the all-around with a 38.075.
In the Terps' third meet of the young season, theybattled 21st-ranked Towson State before falling,189.050-188.675. Despite the loss, Terrapin gymnasts won threeof the four individual events, including Byrnes' 9.8 on thebars.
The records kept falling the next week at theGovernors' Cup. Byrnes' individual Terrapin record of 9.775 onthe vault helped the Terps score a team-record 48.175 in thatevent. Later in the meet, Byrnes outdid herself by breaking theTerrapin all-around individual record with a 38.950, placing hersecond behind Towson State All-America candidate Erin Shanley.
The Terps stayed on the road the next week, travelingto the Spartan Invitational at Michigan State. And, despiteposting their top score of the season (191.175) and thefourth-highest team score in team history, the Terps placedfourth out of four teams. For the second straight week,outstanding individual efforts translated into a great teamperformance. Junior Stacy Breidenbach's 9.775 tied Byrnes'one-week old record on the vault, and combined with two 9.7s, a9.65, a 9.6 and a 9.35, the Terps broke their one-week old vaultrecord with a 48.425.
Strong competition has brought out the best inMaryland's gymnasts, and there's every reason to believe thattrend will continue in Maryland's resurgent, up-and-comingprogram.