as a team need to place first or second at the meet, something that will be tough to do. But individuals can also qualify for the meet — the top two all-arounds, outside of the top two teams, will be given the opportunity to compete at the NCAA meet. Additionally, any event-winner outside of the two top teams will continue on.
UNH’s best shot for an individual winner would likely be sophomore Meghan Pflieger, the all-around winner at the EAGL Championships and EAGL Gymnast of the Year.
“The teams that we’re against all use two or three all-arounds, that are 39.4, 39.5 all-arounds,” said Goodspeed. “The only one we’re using as an all-around right now is Meghan. It’s a long shot…but if she hits, and does the job, and sticks dismounts, you know, she stands a shot.”
According to the Wildcats’ website, Pflieger’s personal-best in the all-around competition is a 39.25 out of a possible 40 points. While the competition will be fierce, Goodspeed was quick to point out that the nature of the sport makes it so that anyone can come in on any given day and win.
“It’s a subjective sport, and you have to take control where you can take control,” she said.
The use of all-arounds has declined in recent years, according to Goodspeed, as teams opt for event specialists that put the team in the best position to win. To have an athlete like Pflieger, who can do that on each apparatus, is invaluable.
“We only have one. Meghan’s it. And that’s not that our other athletes aren’t good, it’s just that when you take the top six in each event, you’re going for the team more than you are the individual,” said Goodspeed.
With such stiff competition, Goodspeed said that her goal for the team is to hit twenty-four of twenty-four routines. If each athlete hits the details and performs well, she’s confident that the score will be competitive enough to stand a chance.
Pflieger and the rest of the Wildcats will begin the competition at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. The meet will be held at West Virginia University’s WVU Coliseum. More information on the NCAA Gymnastics bracket can be found at NCAA.org.
Follow Yourell on Twitter at @fix_bayonets.