Jade Carey
Oregon State's Jade Carey celebrates after her uneven bars routine. (Photo courtesy Christopher Shannon)

Oregon State's Jade Carey, Rutgers' Emily Leese Highlight Scarlet Knights' Gymnastics Home Opener

Piscataway - The Rutgers gymnastics team posted a 194.650 to take second place in their home opening, January quad meet topping Southern Connecticut State, and NCAA gymnastics newcomer, Utica, while falling to No. 13 Oregon State.

Coming into the meet, the main highlight was expected to be Oregon State's Jade Carey.  An all-arounder her first two collegiate seasons, Carey--who won team silver, and individual, floor gold, at the 2020 Olympics--is specializing on the bars and beam this season while she also trains for the 2024 Olympics.  As for her performance at Rutgers, while a few bobbles on beam would result in a less-than-ideal 9.75 on the event, Carey did put together a near perfect uneven bar routine a rotation earlier scoring a 9.975.

Rutgers Gymnastics - Emily Leese

Emily Leese placed first on the floor in Rutgers' home opener. (Photo by Sarah Middlesteadt - JSN)

While Oregon State dominated the vast majority of the individual accolades, sweeping the top three spots on the vault, bars, and beam, Rutgers did see success on the floor and in the all-around. 

Despite a sub-par 8.8 on the bars, Elia Aird scored a 9.775 on vault, a 9.725 on beam, and a 9.825 on floor to take home top honors in the all-around with a 38.125.  Aird was followed in the all-around standings by Utica's Grace Marra and Alexis Castellaneta who each scored a 35.900 and 35.700 respectively.

On the floor, the Scarlet Knights took the top two places with Emily Leese taking top honors with a 9.925 while Harmony Webster tied Oregon State's Sage Thompson for second with a 9.85.

Avery Balser, Stephanie Zannella, and Gabrielle Dildy had Rutgers' other 9.8, or better, scores.  Balser scored a 9.875 on bars while Zannella and Dildy registered identical 9.8s on floor.

Up Next

Rutgers gets a short break before traveling to their next meet in Nashville, Tenn. where they will compete at the MLK Invitational on Monday.  Besides the Scarlet Knights, the six-team event will include Fisk, Talladega, No. 21 Iowa State, William and Mary, and Brown.  The meet, which is being held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, will bring together the country's only African American women head gymnastics coaches for a competition.

For more scenes from Rutgers' home opening, quad meet, check out more of Sarah Middlesteadt's photos from the meet.
Christopher Shannon