Olivia Hyde | Clarion

The No. 7 Denver gymnastics team took first place in two separate meets, defeating No. 20 Ohio State University (OSU) on Feb. 24, as well as No. 22 University of Illinois and Illinois State University on Feb. 26.

DU posted their fifth-best road score in program history vs. OSU, emerging victorious with scores of 196.900-195.225. The team either tied or won each of the vault, bars, beam and floor events on the night.

Freshman Maddie Karr (Stillwater, Minnesota) was one of two Pioneers to participate in all four events. She finished first in both the vault (9.875) and beam (9.900), while also placing third on the floor (9.875). Her all-around score of 39.425 led the meet.

Karr was recently recognized by the Big 12 for her accomplishments. She was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week following her perfect 10.000 on vault at a Feb. 18 meet, and she received Big 12 Gymnast of the Week honors after her 39.675 all-around score on Feb. 11.

Denver’s other all-around participant was senior Julia Ross (Henderson, Nevada), who finished with a score of 39.325. Ross finished second on the bars (9.875) and third on the beam (9.875).

Another outstanding freshman, Sam Ogden (Allen, Texas), contributed to the win. Her 9.900 in the bars was the highest mark of the night in the event. Junior Nikole Addison (Fort Myers, Florida) also came in first in an event, posting a 9.900 on the floor to tie for the lead.

With an even higher collective score in their next meet (196.975), DU again outpaced the competition. Illinois scored a 195.450 and Illinois State posted a 192.175.

Karr and Ross again were the all-around participants for the Pioneers, though this time Ross bested her teammate (39.475-38.900). Ross took first place in the beam with a near perfect score of 9.950, while Karr took first place in the vault (9.950) and floor (9.925) events.

Sophomore Diana Chesnok (Charlotte, North Carolina) took first place in the bars with a score of 9.925. She was followed by three more Pioneers in the event, including Ross’s 9.850.

Senior Rachel Fielitz (Walden, New York) finished second out of 18 participants in the vault, posting a spectacular 9.900.

With a balanced mix of experience and youth, DU gymnastics is poised to make a strong run towards the end of the season, with only two regular season meets remaining. Denver’s next meet will pit them against Ohio State at home on March 4 at 6:00 p.m.