Over the weekend, the West Virginia University gymnastics team traveled to Iowa, and then to Oklahoma, to compete in two different meets over the weekend.
On Friday, the Mountaineers traveled west to Ames, Iowa, to compete against the Iowa State Cyclones in a neck-and-neck meet. Even with WVU getting some of the highest scores that it has gotten all season, Iowa State still managed to finish ahead.
“This is only our second road meet of the season, and I’m happy with tonight’s result,”said West Virginia University gymnastics head coach Jason Butts to WVUSports.com, “Even though we didn’t get the win, this is a great road score for us for the end of the year.”
The audience was sitting at the edge of their seats during a match that ended with the extremely close scores of 195.3-195.2.
“We changed a lot of lineups at the last minute, and everyone hit under pressure,” Butts said. “We just need to keep pushing. We can definitely build on tonight’s performance, and this is a big confidence boost for us.”
Sophomore Zaakira Muhammad earned first place on vault, with the score of 9.9. Freshman Kirah Koshinski tied for second with Iowa State freshman Meaghan Sievers with a score of 9.85.
Mountaineer junior Alexa Goldberg got a score of 9.825 on bars, landing her in second place.
With a score of 9.875 on beam, WVU sophomore Jordan Gillette earned herself the first place spot, while Muhammad earned second place on floor, scoring 9.825.
After they completed this meet, WVU traveled to Oklahoma to take on the Sooners. This was the second meet the the Mountaineers that weekend, this one wasn’t nearly as close. WVU fell short once again, 197.9-195.25.
“We are just still performing timid, and I don’t like that,” Butts said. “I know the team is tired today, but I really believe we gave away a 196.0+ score.”
The Sooners absolutely dominated this meet, and were the only team to earn spots on the podium.
On the vault, five gymnasts tied for third place, all with the same score of 9.850. Muhammad and Koshinski were two of the five tied. Goldberg was the highest scoring Mountaineer on bars, getting sixth place with a score of 9.825.
Senior Audrey Tolbert was was the highest WVU finisher on beam, finishing seventh with a score of 9.8, while Koshinski received a team-high score of 9.85 on floor, earning sixth place.
“I’m very happy that we were able to put up two solid road scores in one weekend – this type of travel weekend was a first for the program, and I thought we responded well,” Butts said. “This weekend was a good confidence builder. I think if we can get through this experience, then we can perform better in future meets. Currently, the momentum isn’t building as quickly as I would like, but we’re in a much better spot than we were in previous seasons.”
The Mountaineers will compete again this coming Sunday at Alabama.