The first gymnastics home meet of the season witnessed Seattle Pacific University’s own Darian Burns landing two career high scores.
Despite the loss the Falcon’s suffered on Friday, Jan. 18, the team put up quite the fight this week, scoring 192.625 points. Along with the high scoring team affair, Darian Burns posted her SPU career highest balance beam score of 9.825 and her SPU career highest all-around performance of 39.175; Burns was just .825 points away from earning a perfect 40.
“Burns had a great meet on Friday night. We hope that she can continue to train well and produce those high scores every week. That should set her up very well for doing a great job at nationals,” gymnastics head coach Laurel Tindall said.
Burns was not the only Falcon gymnast to post SPU career highs.
First-year Kayla Chan posted a 9.750 on her floor routine, and sophomores Mckenna Zimmerman and Jadacie Durst landed 9.675 and a 9.550 respectively on the uneven bars. Chan was also the only first-year on the Falcons posting a top-five score and she netted a second-place spot in floor with her career high score of 9.750.
Tindall mentioned Chan’s high athletic ability and that “Kayla has great amplitude and the ability to still score higher.”
According to Tindall, the scores can be high all season, it just depends on going into the meet with the correct line up and the gymnast performing to the best of their ability.
The team did not have this high of a score last season until late in the month of February. The team’s performance against UC Davis this week was almost three points higher than their season opener against Sacramento State University.
Other Falcons that were able to post top five scores were Itzia San Roman in vault with 9.725 at fifth and Miyuki Matsune in vault with 9.800 score, caught in a five-way tie for fourth place.
The meet this past Friday was the first of five home meets in the 2019 season. However, the team now has a long stretch of road competition. The Falcons will spend the next three meets traveling across the country, first to California, then Illinois, finally ending in Colorado. Each of these meets will have several team competitors reaching for No. 1. The Falcons will not be back home until mid-Feb.
“We don’t coach any differently [for away meets],” Tindall said. “[We] continue to encourage the women to be confident in their abilities and to have the expectation that they can hit their routines. We are continuing to refine skills and make changes so that they can do better and score better.”
The teams next meet, Jan. 25, is in San Jose, Calif. where they will face off against San Jose State University, Air Force University and Alaska Anchorage University. The last time SPU traveled to San Jose they scored their season high of the 2018 season with a 193.225, which was the only time in the 2018 season the Falcons were able to post a score higher than 193.