The women’s gymnastics team finished a close second in its first meet of the season in Denver on Saturday.
The meet featured three schools, Penn State, Denver and Lindenwood with Denver finishing on top with a team score of 194.650. The Nittany Lions scored a 193.725 while Lindenwood, who was competing in its first collegiate meet, compiled a score of 184.150.
The Lions featured the top all-around score in the meet as senior Sharaya Musser earned a mark of 39.300. Sophomore Lexi Carrol earned a third place finish in the all-around and freshman Samantha Musto ended in fourth.
“The two seniors (Musser and Merriam) did a great job,” head coach Jeff Thompson. “We’ll be relying on them throughout the year.”
The meet also featured many firsts for Lions gymnasts as freshmen Musto and Alix Faden made their first collegiate appearances. Sophomores Carroll and Alex Witt also competed for their first times on the balance beam and uneven bars, respectively.
“The freshmen did great for their first meet and got off to a really good start,” Thompson said.
Thompson also commended Musto, saying she did great on the vault. Penn State’s best scores came in the final event in the vault as they tried to catch up to Denver. The Lions earned a 49.100 score with senior Madison Merriam individual meet-high score of 9.900. The other five Nittany Lion gymnasts all finished with a mark higher than 9.725.
The first event took place at the uneven bars where Musser and freshman Samantha Musto led the team. Penn State finished the first event in the lead with a score of 48.950.
Musser excelled again in the balance beam, the second event, with the top score for Penn State at 9.725. Witt earned a score of 9.650 in her first appearance on the beam. Denver took the lead after the second event with a score of 97.725.
“The balance beam gave us the most struggles…and something we’ll focus on in practice,” said Thompson.
In the third event, Musser again led Penn State with a mark of 9.825. Musto continued her impressive debut as she posted a 9.550 score. Denver still led with a 1.400 advantage over the Lions.
Penn State was not able to pass Denver in the final event, as Denver held onto the lead for a first place finish.
“We would have liked to have done better, but I like where we are,” Thompson said.