Ham Shines in Season Opener
Jan. 4, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. - Junior Diahanna Ham competed as an all-arounder for the first time in her collegiate career and did not disappoint, posting the top two scores for the Wolfpack on the night with a 9.875 on vault and a 9.850 on floor. No. 22 NC State finished with a team score of 194.975, while the eighth-ranked LSU Tigers ended with a 196.075.
"The team did a really nice job out there tonight for an opening meet," head coach Mark Stevenson said. "Our score of 194.975 is a great starting point for us."
The Wolfpack began the meet on the uneven parallel bars and compiled a team score of 48.450, besting LSU's score in the event which was 48.250. Junior Kristen Harabedian led the Pack in the event with a 9.8, followed closely by senior Rachel Fincham with a 9.775. Freshman Michaela Woodford made her collegiate debut in the event and recorded a 9.725. Diahanna Ham also competed in the event scoring a 9.7.
Ham posted the highest score on the night for a State gymnast with her vault that scored a 9.875, good for second in the event. Freshman Brittni Watkins made her collegiate debut in the event and did so in grand style, registering a 9.825. Senior Morgan Johnson scored a 9.8, while Stephanie Ouellette and Woodford scored a 9.725 and 9.7, respectively. The gymnasts combined to achieve a team score of 48.925 in the event.
"Diahanna (Ham) did a really nice job tonight on every routine," Stevenson said. "Her vault and floor routines were great. It was the first time she competed on bars in her career and her beam routine will get stronger as the season progresses."
At the halfway mark in the meet, the Wolfpack trailed the Tigers 97.525- 97.375.
NC State recorded its highest team score of the night on floor exercise with a 48.975. Ham led the way with a 9.850 and was trailed closely by sophomore Lane Jarred and Ouellette with 9.825s. Woodford posted a 9.750, while Harabedian notched a 9.725 to highlight the Pack's scoring in the event.
In the final rotation of the night, the Pack was pitted on the balance beam. Woodford headlined the group with a 9.775. Harabedian turned in the next best score for State with a 9.750, preceding Ouellette and Jarred with a 9.725 and 9.7, with respect to order. The Wolfpack completed the event with a team score of 48.625.
Ham finished the night with a score of 39.100 in the all-around, en route to claiming third amongst the all-arounders. In to addition to Ham, Ouellette and Woodford also competed as all-arounders posting scores of 38.725 and 38.950, respectively.
"I thought Stephanie (Ouellette) and Rachel (Fincham) did well for us tonight, with both of them coming off of fall surgeries," said Stevenson. "Michaela (Woodford) was also great for us tonight competing in every event in her collegiate debut and finishing fourth in the all-around."
NC State will return to action on Friday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. in its home opener against the Maryland Terrapins.