Four Wildcats competed for the University of New Hampshire (UNH) this past weekend in the NCAA Regional Championship. Junior Hailey Lui and sophomores Kylie Gorgenyi, Robyn Kelley and Alyssa Worthington were the only UNH gymnastics (9-3, 5-1) athletes able to compete in regionals after the teams ranking fell to 38 in the nation with only the top 36 advancing to the championship. Coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols kept UNH from competing in the EAGL Championship on March 20 and ended the rest of the team’s season.
Head coach Lindsey Ayotte said after the meet that taking just four athletes was a new experience.
“It was kind of brand-new; Hailey [Lui] was the only one who’s ever been to a postseason, you know it’s different when you go as individuals versus as a team, and you have your whole team’s support,” explained Ayotte. “It’s a different feeling and a different atmosphere when it’s just a few of us.”
The highlight of the match came from Lui. She scored a 9.875 on the beams which tied for first place against UCLA’s junior Norah Flatley.
Lui said she wasn’t focused on the outcome during her routine noting that she, “wasn’t really paying attention to the competition much. So even after the meet was over, I really didn’t even know.”
Coach Ayotte backed her junior’s performance.
“It’s something I knew she could do, and I still think the score itself was a little bit lower than what her performance was. It’s something she has been training in the gym every day.”
Kelley scored her personal best on the floor with a score of 9.920 the last time UNH competed in a meet versus Towson and Temple University. However, that success didn’t continue over to the weekend’s match and she placed 24th on the floor with a score of 9.725. Kelley did find more success on the beams though and placed 12th with a score of 9.775.
Gorgenyi competed on the vault and uneven bars this weekend. She placed 27th on the vault, scoring 9.600 and 28th on the uneven bars, scoring 9.225.
Similar to Lui, Worthington only competed in one event this weekend, the beam. Worthington recorded a 9.425 which placed her at 22nd overall in the match.
The performance wasn’t what UNH was looking for in a season marred by the pandemic’s restrictions. Still the results are something for the team to build on as they look to the 2022 season.
Photo courtesy of Shannon Dean.