The gymnastics team took to the road in hopes of exceeding the results of their last road trip, which riddled with falls.
On Friday, Feb. 2, Seattle Pacific University traveled to Davis California to compete against Stanford University, San Jose State and University of California Davis.
The tempo was set by a Falcons star sophomore who is no stranger to leading the squad in overall score.
Darian Burns has led her team in overall score three of the four meets during the regular season.
She averages the highest all-around performance per meet out of her entire team at 38.200.
What was different about this previous meet was that Burns earned two season-high event scores Friday en route to the finest all-around performance of her career for Seattle Pacific, which compiled a fourth-place women’s gymnastics score of 190.750 against a field of NCAA Division I opponents at The Pavilion on the UC Davis campus.
Burns registered a four-event total of 38.775 to surpass her previous best of 38.550 established in the season opener.
The SPU sophomore placed seventh in the all-around on the strength of a career-high mark of 9.750 on the balance beam that was good for seventh place.
A 9.700 effort was her uneven bars best this year.
“Darian had her best meet of the season,” said Laurel Tindall, head coach of the gymnastics team.
Although she had some areas such as vault to improve on, Burns held the team up, Tindall said.
The teams last meet on the road, on Jan. 19, had the opposite ending.
The Falcons had fallen apart, scoring a team record low since a meet against University of Washington in 2011.
Falcon gymnast, McKenna Zimmermann said that a lot had changed from their first meet to the most recent one, saying, “our energy levels and how we came together as a team. We were louder, more energized and more united than the last away meet. I think this helped us substantially, and hopefully we can carry these same aspects with us on future road meets.”
After the teams nerves were calmed, they were able to perform, Zimmermann said.
Along with Burns, Zimmermann had climbed her way to the top SPU scorers. She was the Falcons second best All-Around performer with a score of 37.275.
Despite Burns’ statistical takeover and Zimmermann trailing right behind her, the Falcons found themselves in fourth out of the four competing teams.
Stanford pulled together a 196.050 performance which easily gave them first.
Stanford’s own Elizabeth Price topped the uneven bars with a 9.925 which was the highest score achieved by any gymnast in all of the four events.
She is the nation’s top-ranked competitor on the bars with a 10.0 to her credit.
Price is a former U.S. National Team gymnast and an alternate on the 2012 Summer Olympic squad. She tied for first place on the vault with teammate Rachael Flam, each producing a 9.875 on Friday.
The Cardinals, ranked 21st nationally, finished atop the team standings with a season-high score of 196.050.
Behind Stanford was UC Davis at 195.150, San Jose State at 192.975 and then SPU at 190.750.
The Falcons up and coming meets, first at the U.S. Air Force academy in Colorado and then the second meet in Sacramento California, all take place away from home.
“I think [road meets] affect how we practice in the gym, which then consequently affects how we perform,” Zimmermann said. “We have to train as though we are competing in a new environment. So, we have to know our cues on all the events and take those with us to away meets. I think if we do this, as well as coming together as one, then our performance at road meets will improve.”