Gymnastics: UNH claws to its third straight win

By Sam Donnelly
On February 25, 2014

The UNH woman's gymnastics team has continued their winning streak after finishing first again in a Tri-team meet with Towson University and the College of William & Mary. UNH outscored second-place finisher William & Mary, 194.125 to 192.300. Towson finished at 190.275. 

With the victory, UNH increases its winning streak to three straight first-place finishes and a record of 8-3, 2-2 in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League. 

UNH started off slow by posting the lowest score on balance beam, 47.600. Luckily they were able to shake it off and score a 48.975 on floor exercise, pushing them back into the first-place position. Redshirt freshman Kelsey Aucoin earned first place in both vault and floor exercise, scoring 9.800 and a 9.850 respectively.  

Although this is the third straight first-place finish, and fourth straight time hitting at least 23 out of 24 sets, head coach Gail Godspeed is not satisfied. 

"We need to start paying attention to the details," Godspeed said, "We are talented enough to score 195.000 every meet."

Before the meet at Towson, the women hosted both Brown and Centenary, where they scored a season-high 195.575. 

"The goal across the board is always going to be hitting 24 out of 24 on our sets," Godspeed said. "It's a team event, everyone has to hit."

As UNH moves forward and the competition gets steeper, the important message has to do with personal health. The team is fighting off various injuries and attempting to stay healthy through rest and eating correctly. They receive every Wednesday off and are instructed not to do anything involving gymnastics. 

"We are okay, this is mid-season," Godspeed said. "The wear and tear of gymnastics will begin to show about now. They need days off to recover."

Despite the season beginning to take its toll on the team, the attitude has remained upbeat. 

"They are having fun," Godspeed said "There is a lot of comrardery within this group of girls. It's obviously a lot of fun when you are hitting sets as a team and winning in the process."

The success of the team is not just based on the talent on the mats, or the coaching from the sideline; it starts with the two senior captains Hannah Braile and Erin Machado. 

"Hannah and [the] other captain are great leaders." Godspeed said. "They complement each other so well and they push the team every day."

Both Braile and Machado have been named to the East Atlantic Gymnastics League All-Academic Team for two years in a row and have led the Wildcats in both floor exercise and uneven bars throughout the year, but in no way are their leadership styles similar. 

"Erin [Machado] is the cheerleader." Godspeed said, "You can hear her when she isn't competing, she helps each teammate feel comfortable. Hannah [Braile] is different. She goes off by herself before meets and will talk to the girls in a huddle more than anything. They both lead by example on the mats. That's what matters to me."

The Wildcats head to George Washington University in Washington, D.C., next Monday, March 3, for another Tri-team meet against the host school and Maryland. UNH beat the Terrapins 195.025 to 193.950 back in early February. They look to continue their already-strong winning streak, while not beating themselves. 


"We are competing against ourselves," Godspeed said, "That is how we have to look at it."

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