Julia C. Zimmerman '09 broke the eight-year-old Institute record for all-around competition by amassing an astonishing 38.175 in a quad-meet at Southern Connecticut State University on Sunday afternoon. She also notched a school-record 9.600 on the vault by performing the first front-handspring-front-layout in the history of Div. III women's gymnastics.
As a team, the Engineers finish third of the four teams in the meet with a team score of 174.75, behind SUNY-Brockport's 184.100 and Southern Connecticut's 183.35, but ahead of Rhode Island College's 170.925.
Zimmerman tied for first-place on both the vault and bars (9.45), while finishing second in both beam (9.525) and floor (9.60). Her all-around score of 38.175 broke the mark set by Sonja Ellefson '01, who earned a 38.135 in 1999.
While Head Coach Jennifer Miller-McEachern was absolutely delighted with the individual performance of Zimmerman, she was even more impressed with the sophomore's insistence upon sharing the plaudits with her teammates.
"As they were announcing the individual winners, Julia made sure that she was surrounded by the 11 people that helped her make history — her team," she said.
Though Zimmerman was the major highlight of the afternoon, there were other solid performances that helped buoy the team. Lara L. Hershcovitch '07 set the tone for the day by opening the competition with an 8.75 on the floor, introducing a new one-and-a-half twist on her last tumbling pass.
Sarah N. Trowbridge '08 (8.825), Laura E. Kelly (8.825) and Katie M. Mingo '10 (9.05) all helped Tech gain the momentum that was key to spurring on Zimmerman's performance.
On the vault, Ashley T. Tran '07 got the squad excited by performing in the event for the first time since tearing her ACL last June and scoring a 9.05.
Gillian S. Conahan '10 and Gina M. Policelli '10 were solid in fill-in roles on the bars for the Cardinal and Gray, as the pair of first-years stepped up to plug the gap left by the injured Alison M. Barnard '09 and Sophia L. Harrison '08.
The Engineers won the beam with a score of 45.800, their best in any event that day. Trowbridge (9.225) and Hershcovitch (9.125) notched great marks, while Zimmerman's top score helped push the squad's tally over the top.
The Engineers (1-12) will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 17, when they will host Rhode Island College in the duPont Gymnasium.