Women's gymnastics: Pioneers win national semifinal with season high

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Peter Cochefski/TWU
TWU junior Spencer Jones scored a team-high 9.775 on balance beam at Friday night’s USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships team semifinals in Providence, R.I. The Pioneers posted a season-high 195.375, won their semifinal session and advanced to tonight’s team finals.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — TWU posted a season-high 195.375 to win the second semifinal session Friday at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships.

With the win, the Pioneers advanced to today’s 6 p.m. team finals. TWU has advanced to the team finals every season since 1992 and has captured nine titles in school history. TWU last won the title in 2008.

Seattle Pacific will join the Pioneers in the team finals as it finished behind TWU with a score of 194.275. Brown came in third with a 193.775 and was followed by Temple (190.750).

Air Force (193.800) and Bridgeport (193.625) placed first and second, respectively, in the first semifinal session and also advanced.

The Pioneers began the meet on floor exercise and tallied a 48.675 team score after five of six gymnasts scored 9.700 or higher. TWU was led by junior Spencer Jones with a 9.825 and senior Amy Winczura with a 9.775. Senior Margaret Mayfield scored 9.725 while senior Brittany Montalbano and junior Stephanie Repp each scored 9.700.

The Pioneers scored 48.775 on vault, led by senior Bethany Larimer with a 9.825. Senior Brittainy Johnson scored 9.800, Winczura finished with a 9.750 and Mayfield 9.725.

On uneven bars, the Pioneers tied a school record with a team score of 49.325. All six gymnasts scored 9.775 or higher, led by Johnson with a career-high 9.925. Freshman Katie Simpson also posted a new career high with a 9.875, while Larimer and senior Courtney Cochefski each scored 9.850. Jones scored 9.825, and Winczura rounded out the scoring with a 9.775.

The Pioneers ended the night with a 48.600 on balance beam. TWU was led by Jones with a 9.775, while Johnson and senior Ciara Maradiaga each scored 9.725 and Repp finished with a 9.700.

“I am very proud of what our team accomplished tonight,” TWU coach Lisa Bowerman said. “Our goal was to have a solid meet on all four events and to advance to the team finals. We were able to do just that, and it felt great. The best part is we know there is still room for improvement [today], and know we are ready to compete our best meet of the season.”

TWU also qualified numerous gymnasts for Sunday’s individual event finals. Jones (beam and floor), Larimer (vault), Johnson (vault and bars), Simpson (bars) and Winczura (floor) will compete for individual titles.

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