No. 12-ranked DU scored a 196.725 to beat No. 21 George Washington (195.950) and West Virginia (194.925) in front of a record breaking sold-out crowd in Hamilton Gymnasium. This was the third consecutive sold-out meet for Denver, and broke the attendance record that was set last week.
“I want to thank our fans for our third-straight sell out, especially with the weather conditions,” Head Coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart said. “The fan support has made all of the difference this season, and we really appreciate it.”
“I would rank tonight among the [all-time ] toughest, grittiest Denver Gymnastics performances. We were making constant adjustments for illness and injury, and they showed an unreal amount of mental toughness, determination and resiliency.” Kutcher-Rinehart said “It takes character to do what we’re doing. We didn’t compete with [freshman]Lynnzee Brown (Kansas City, Mo.), one of our strongest all-arounders, and [junior]Kaitlyn Schou (Orlando, Fla.) has been sick with the flu. Our student-athletes had to step up in unexpected circumstances and with very limited training on specific events. What we’re doing is only possible with exceptional character.”
Denver began the meet on vault, with only five gymnasts competing. Junior Diana Chesnok (Charlotte, N.C.) led the Pioneers off, scoring a 9.800, followed by freshman Mia Sundstrom (Boulder, Colo.) who earned a 9.775. Senior Nikole Addison (Fort Myers, Fla.) and Schou tied career highs, with respective scores of 9.900 and 9.850. Sophomore Maddie Karr (Stillwater, Minn.) had a season high-tying score of 9.925, winning the event title.
On the bars, the Pioneers had its best team performance thus far in the season, with a season high 49.175. Freshman Emily Glynn (Longmont, Colo.) tied her personal best of 9.900 to earn the title,while Karr was second with a 9.875. Junior Claire Kern (Charlotte, N.C.), senior Leah Lomonte (Katy, Texas), Sundstrom and Chesnok finished out the event with matching 9.800s.
In the third rotation, Denver scored a 49.047 on beam, competing again with six gymnasts. Karr and Schou shared the event title with matching 9.875s. Sundstrom was a close second with a 9.850 and Addison was third with a 9.800. Glynn made her debut on the event, scoring a 9.675 to help DU from counting a fall.
DU competed only five student-athletes on the floor, scoring a 49.225, with matching 9.925s from Addison and Karr, who share the event title. Sundstrom earned a 9.850, and Schou earned a 9.775. Glynn competed for the first time on the floor since the season opener and earned a 9.750.
Karr won her fourth all-around title of the season with a 36.900, while Sundstrom finished fourth with a 39.275.
Denver will travel to play No. 21 BYU with Southern Utah on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. MT, the first of a two-meet road trip. The Pioneers will return on March 5 for their final home meet of the season against Southern Utah.