UNH’s Carr lands league honors
It has been a frustrating, yet at times rewarding, senior season for University of New Hampshire gymnast Ali Carr.
A former two-time Merrimack Valley Conference Gymnast of the Year at Chelmsford High, Carr has been unable to compete in floor exercise because of nagging knee and ankle injuries. And therein lies the frustration: Minus the floor, she has not been able to compete in the all-around, something she has done “like forever.’’
And the reward? Concentrating on the vault, uneven bars, and beam, she earned All-East Gymnastics League honors in each discipline, propelling the Wildcats to the NCAA Division 1 Regional meet for 30th time in the last 31 seasons. UNH was in Fayetteville, Ark., for the competition on Saturday, the fifth seed in a six-team field, joining UCLA, Arkansas, Boise State, Missouri, and Maryland. The two top squads advance to the national championship later this month in Duluth, Ga.
“I’m going into this meet with the intention of doing the best I can in every routine and enjoying myself,’’ said the 22-year-old Carr, who delivered season-high averages of 9.821 in the vault, 9.679 on the uneven bars, and 9.648 on the beam.
“That’s what the team is thinking, too, just to do the best in each routine. I don’t want to put too many expectations on myself, knowing this could be the last meet of my college career.’’
If it is, coach Gail Goodspeed will bid adieu to someone who, she says, “has the ability to make the really difficult look easy. She is truly an artistic gymnast with both power and style to be the entire package.’’
The 5-foot-6 Carr skipped the floor exercise because of its impact on her knees and ankles. That allowed her to focus on the other three events. She delivered a career-best performance on Jan. 21 against Pittsburgh, winning the vault with a personal-best 9.785, won the beam, and tied for first on the bars. On Feb. 25 against West Virginia, she registered a personal-best 9.9 in earning top honors in the beam.
Carr said this season was the best of her career.
She recalled two other meets that were “the highlights of my career.’’
The first came when she was a freshman, when the Wildcats registered 196.2 points against the University of North Carolina. The other was her sophomore year in a meet against Brown, when she posted a 9.95 on the unevens.
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