Athletics & Recreation

Gymnastics team wins Mountain Rim Championship with season-high score

The No. 20 University of Denver women’s gymnastics squad earned a season-high score of 196.925 on its way to win the first-ever Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championships. The team score is the seventh highest in school history. In addition, the Pioneers broke the school’s vault record, posting a 49.475. Five Pioneers earned or tied their career-highs on eight different routines.

“It was a really competitive meet, which goes to show the level and quality of gymnastics in this alliance,” head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart said. “I am very proud of our student-athletes’ performance today. We’ve been focusing on maximizing every tenth in practice, and it showed in the last few competitions. The completeness of this team is one of our best traits.”

Junior Nina McGee led the Pioneers, earning a career-high 39.475 to finish second in the all-around. McGee tied her career-high 9.850 on vault, while posting another career-high 9.925 on beam and tying her season-high on 9.925 on floor. McGee Senior Moriah Martin followed McGee, posting a 39.400, highlighted by a 9.950 on vault and a pair of 9.850’s on bars and floor.

The Pioneers began the afternoon on bars, after having a bye the first rotation. Melodie Pulgarin Linero brought in a 9.825 and junior Nina McGee added a 9.775, with sophomore Katie Menhinick and freshman Julia Ross bringing in a pair of 9.700’s. Boise State’s Ceira Perkins and Kelsey Morris would eventually win the individual title on the event.

The Pioneers picked up the momentum as they moved to beam, earning a team score of 49.200, tying the team’s highest beam score of the season. Senior Jorie Hall tied her career-high of 9.925 for the third time this season, and McGee earned a matching score and a career-high. Ross, who also earned a career-high, posted a 9.800, with freshman Leah Lomonte and Martin adding matching 9.750’s. Hall and McGee went on to be crowned individual event co-champions.

McGee tied to lead all gymnasts, earning a 9.925 on floor and helping Denver earn its second highest team score of the season on the event, 49.400. Junior Ellese Sakai-Hart tied her season-high of 9.875 in Denver’s lead spot on floor, with Hall and senior Kaitlin Moorhead also earning matching scores. In her debut on floor, freshman Rachel Fielitz inked a 9.850 to add to the Pioneers team score.

The Pioneers finished the day on vault, posting a team total of 49.475, a new school record. Martin posted a 9.950, her second 9.950 score on vault of the season. Fielitz posted a career-high 9.925 and Moorhead added a 9.900. McGee tied her career-high of 9.850, while sophomore Emily Barrett posted a season-high 9.800.



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