TOWSON, Md. – Juniors Lauren Ross and Samantha Lutz finished one-two in the all-around competition as the Towson University gymnastics team won their inaugural meet in SECU Arena by coming from behind to beat West Chester, Southern Connecticut and Centenary College on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers finished the meet with a seasonal high 191.900 team score while West Chester finished second with a 188.975 score. Southern Connecticut (187.100) was third and Centenary finished fourth (186.375).
At the mid-point of the meet, the Tigers were actually third in the meet with a 94.900 score while Southern Connecticut was leading the meet (95.475) and West Chester (94.975) was second.
“We were fortunate to turn it around on beam,” said Towson Coach Vicki Chliszczyk. “Vault and bars are not our strongest events and that’s where we started. But, I was happy to see the way we responded on beam and floor.”
On the third rotation, junior Janis Konkle led off on beam with a 9.775 score and that set the tone for the Tigers. Lutz added a 9.575 score before freshman Bridget Steffen came through with a 9.675 score. Senior Alexa Davis matched her season high with a 9.775 score and Ross responded with a 9.725 score. That gave Towson a 48.525 team score on beam and turned a 0.575-point deficit into a 1.475-point lead over West Chester and a 3.025-point advantage over Southern Connecticut.
The Tigers closed out the meet on floor and were nearly as effective, finishing with a seasonal-high 48.475 score. Ross led the Tigers with a 9.80 score on floor while Lutz had a 9.775 score. Konkle earned a 9.675 and freshman Bailey Gallagher posted a 9.65 score.
“It was great to be competing at home,” said Chliszczyk. “Although we were competing at home, this was a very different environment than the Towson Center. SECU Arena is a beautiful facility and it was fun competing here with huge video scoreboard. I was especially proud of the way our gymnasts stayed focused and came through with three wins. They didn’t allow any distractions to bother them.”
Ross won the all-around competition with a 38.275 score while finishing second on floor (9.80). Lutz finished second in the all-around with a 38.25 and finished fourth on bars (9.675) and third on floor (9.775).
Freshman Bailey Gallagher of Towson won the vault competition (9.675) while Emily Seigel of West Chester finished first on bars (9.75). She edged Towson’s Vickiy Vesecky for the bars title.
Nicole Pruchnik of Southern Connecticut tied for first on beam with Davis and Konkle. Pruchnik also finished first on floor with a 9.825 score.
FINAL: 1. Towson 191.900, 2. West Chester 188.975, 3. Southern Connecticut 187.100, 4. Centenary 186.375.
VAULT: 1. Bailey Gallagher (TOW), 9.675; 2. Selena Swanger (WC), 9.65; 3. Meghan Cole (SC) 9.625.
BARS: 1. Emily Seigel (WC), 9.75; 2. Vicki Vesecky (TOW), 9.725; Meghan Brannon (TOW), 9.725.