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Men’s and women’s gymnastics teams compete side-by-side in dual senior meet

By Carley Crain

The men’s and women’s gymnastics teams had a historic senior meet on Sunday afternoon in a jam-packed Blake Arena. The two squads competed side-by-side, in a dual meet that hasn’t taken place in five years.

The women earned their highest score of the 2023 season so far, racking up 187.525 points. The men’s team also earned its highest overall score in five years, with 390.800 points. Senior Dominic Ramalho also had a career-best day in the all-around competition, as he posted his best collegiate score ever of 77.200 points.

“The turnout for the meet was larger than any we have ever had before,” Ramalho said. “The overall vibe and competitiveness of the meet on our side were the best I have seen in my four years at Springfield.”

Personal and season bests, as well as career highs, were widespread for both teams in a variety of events. On the floor exercise, senior Jakarie Williams and first-year Owen Carney earned either new career or season bests, as Williams came away with a new season high of 13.750 and Carney not far behind with a brand new collegiate best of 13.700.

Springfield swept the podium on the pommel horse, taking all three top spots. First-year Sam Kaplan earned a new collegiate best, as he posted a 12.900. On the still rings, arguably the team’s best event of the meet, Springfield took the top five spots, led by junior David Handron, who also scored a career-best of 13.950.

The Pride once again swept the podium on the parallel bars, and Kaplan earned another career-best on the day with a score of 13.600. Carney and sophomore Noah Dhaliwal both swung to new career bests in the last event of the meet as well, which was the high bar. Carney scored a 13.600 and Dhaliwal took third place with a total of 13.200 points.

Three of the men’s gymnasts from Springfield were recognized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference for their impressive performances on Sunday afternoon. Ramalho was named the ECAC Gymnast of the Week, Handron was named ECAC co-specialist of the week, and Carney rounded out the three with ECAC Men’s Gymnastics Rookie of the Week. Hadron also took home the College Gymnastic Association co-specialist of the week.

The women continued the pattern of new career bests. Senior Devon Rosier made her presence known from the start as she scored a new career-best of 9.825 on the floor exercise. Springfield dominated the vault, as junior Annie Kiley led the Pride with a new collegiate best of 9.700, followed by first-year Sage Kaplan, who also scored a career-high of 9.5750, and first-year Stacy Taylor rounding out the top three.

Senior Tori Sipes had a solid day across the board, as she placed second overall in the beam with a new season high of 9.675, right behind sophomore Maya Belog who won the event. Additionally, Sipes led Springfield on the uneven bars, as she posted a 9.500. Sipes also earned Maroon Club Athlete of the Week.

The two squads showed up big time for its senior meet, which was both equally emotional and exciting for athletes whose last season wearing “The Jersey” is almost complete. The senior experience over the past four years has certainly been a roller coaster– from COVID outbreaks, not having a season, to competing virtually. However, being able to have a competition where both teams come together on such an important day felt like a full-circle moment.

“Being able to compete as a senior alongside the women’s team who we practice with every day is something I don’t think we have done before,” said Ramalho. “That is what made it so special. Everyone out there was competing for the seniors.”

Photo: Carley Crain/The Springfield Student

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