DENVER – “Countdown to Regionals” is a two week series to mark each passing day with a different statistic, fact or talking point, setting the stage for the Pioneers trip to the 2013 Tuscaloosa Regional on April 6.
Floor tumbling is arguably one of the things that is responsible for a lot of wear and tear on a gymnasts body. With that said, head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart has gotten solid contributions from seven gymnasts on floor this season to allow her to rotate gymnasts in and out of the lineup each week. In all, 11 gymnasts have made a start on floor this season, but seven have made three or more starts for Kutcher-Rinehart’s squad.
The Pioneers floor corps is ranked No. 12 in the nation with a 49.275 Regional Qualifying Score, and is coming off a 49.275 at last week’s Western Athletic Conference Championship. Denver has turned in nine floor team scores of 49.000 or higher, including six-straight between February 2 and March 9. DU turned in a season-high 49.450 in the event on that March 9 meet, the seventh-best score on floor in program history.
Junior Jorie Hall (Denver, Colo.) is the only gymnast in the floor lineup to start and count her score in all 13 meets this season, averaging a 9.813 on the event this season, including a career-high 9.900 twice this season. Hall has inked a 9.875 or higher in five meets this year. The Pioneer junior has won two floor titles this season. Hall is No. 55 in the nation with a 9.875 RQS on floor.
Classmate Moriah Martin (Lake Mary, Fla.) has started and counted her score in 12 meets this year, missing the February 2 meet (rest). Martin is No. 89 in the national rankings with a 9.855 RQS and averages a 9.808. On January 12, Martin tied her career-high on floor with a 9.900. Martin has tallied six scores of 9.850 or higher this season.
Sophomore Nina McGee (Cincinnati, Ohio), who missed her freshman campaign due to injury, has counted all 11 of her starts, has led the team in 10 meets and has won nine event titles on floor this season. McGee is No. 9 finished the 2013 campaign at No. 9 in the nation with a 9.920 RQS. The Pioneer sophomore has tallied six scores of 9.900 or higher on floor, including four-straight. McGee missed the February 8 meet and the March 11 meets due to rest. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native tallied the sixth-highest floor score in program history, a 9.975. McGee has averaged a 9.882 on floor in her rookie season.
Junior Kaitlin Moorhead (Palo Alto, Calif.) has also brought consistency in the five spot in Denver’s floor lineup this season. After falling in two of her first three routines on floor this season, Moorhead has reeled off 10-straight impressive routines, including a 9.850 or higher in her last five meets. Moorhead is No. 48 in the nation with a 9.880 RQS. The Palo Alto, Calif., native tallied a career-high 9.925 on March 9 against Arizona State and Illinois State.
Arguably the toughest spot to perform in, sophomore Ellese Sakai-Hart (Aptos, Calif.) has opened Denver’s lineup nine times this year, and has counted her score in 10 of her 12 appearances this season. Sakai-Hart debuted a new pass on March 9, and received a career-high 9.900. The DU table-setter enters next Saturday’s regional with a 9.800 RQS, recording four scores of 9.800 or higher this season.
Freshmen Katie Menhinick (Paramus, N.J.) and Maggie Laughlin (Scottsdale, Ariz.) have combined for 12 starts this season and six counting scores for the Pioneers. Laughlin shared the team-high on floor with McGee (9.800) in Denver’s meet at Oklahoma on January 18. Menhinick tallied a 9.800 of her own as a late substitute at Southern Utah on February 8.
Floor lineup by position:
1) Sakai-Hart (9), Laughlin (3), Menhinick (1)
2) Martin (5), Laughlin (3), Menhinick (3), Pulgarin Linero (1), Hall (1)
3) Martin (4), Sakai-Hart (3), McGee (2), Menhinick (2), Hall (1), Barrett (1)
4) Hall (10), Martin (1), Moorhead (1), Springer (1)
5) Moorhead (8), McGee (3), Hall (1), Martin (1)
6) McGee (7), Moorhead (2), Moorhead (2), Pulgarin Linero (1), Tolman (1)
Last week: Menhinick, Martin, Sakai-Hart, Hall, Moorhead, McGee
11 49’s for Denver’s Vault Corps
10.0 Vault for Martin in 2013
Ninth Different Regional Site for DU Gymnastics
Eight Pioneers to Watch on Bars
Check back tomorrow of the fifth segment of the series.
-EXPERIENCE DENVER ATHLETICS-
Like Denver Pioneers and Denver Gymnastics on Facebook
Follow @DU_Pioneers and @DU_Gymnastics on Twitter