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Now-junior Sara Kenefick competes in the floor event against Ursinus during the meet last season at the Palestra on Feb. 20, 2022. Credit: Diego Cárdenas

Penn Gymnastics opened their season Jan. 6 with a strong team performance at the Keystone Classic, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh, and also featuring Villanova and Temple. 

Despite placing fourth, the Quakers set a program record for the highest season-opening team score with 193.525 points.

Among the main contributors to Penn’s historic effort were junior Sara Kenefick and freshman Skyelar Kerico. 

For their performances, the Gymnastics East Conference recognized Kenefick as the Gymnast of the Week and Kerico as the Newcomer of the Week. 

Kenefick’s career-best all-around score of 39.025 points and strong showing on the vault and floor led to her receiving this honor for the third time in her career. The other two came last season in which she was named first-team All-GEC on floor and helped lead Penn to a GEC Championship.

In her first year on the team, Kerico also showed her potential to become an important contributor to the team moving forward. Leading the team on the bars and beam, Kerico’s all-around score of 39.125 secured her a third place finish at the competition.   

The pair's contributions were once again highlighted in Penn's second-place finish at Penn State, held last weekend in University Park, Pa. The Quakers' score of 194.900 was the sixth-best in program history.

Kenefick opened up her meet with a 9.500 on the beam, contributing to the team’s second place finish on the beams with 48.825 points. Kenefick also placed sixth for her floor routine with a score of 9.775, adding to the team's score of 48.725, which was also good enough for second place in the event. 

Kerico excelled on the vault, finishing the competition tied for first in the event with a score of 9.850. Kerico’s performance on the vault ties her for the fourth highest score in the vault event in program history. Kerico would also finish third on the uneven bars with a score of 9.675. With an all-around score of 39.075, Kerico would finish second overall, behind only Penn State’s Maddie Johnston. 

Penn will host William & Mary this Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Palestra to open up their GEC schedule.