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GYM: Tar Heels Finish Third at Sweetheart Invitational, Watts Takes 2nd in the All-Around

Posted February 16

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— The North Carolina gymnastics team posted a final score of 193.650 to finish third tonight in NC State’s annual Sweetheart Invitational. Haley Watts placed second in the all-around, ahead of NC State standout and EAGL’s number one ranked all-arounder, Brittni Watkins.

Carolina finished one solid point ahead of William & Mary, but fell just short to George Washington, which earned a 193.750 to place third. EAGL top ranked NC State finished first with a score of 196.050, defeating all three teams by a large margin.

The Tar Heels began the meet on bars with enthusiasm and has some strong individual routines. Freshman Megan Marenghi outdid herself from last week to earn a new personal best of 9.825. Her score would be the highest for the Heels, but Watts followed close behind with a 9.800. Acacia Cosentino posted a solid 9.775, and Sarah Peterson added a 9.750. Unfortunately, the team score was hindered by Lexi Cappalli and Josselyn Mackey, who both suffered uncharacteristic falls.

Carolina performed best this evening on the balance beam. Janell Sargent, who has been the team’s consistent and dependable anchor on beam this season, scored a 9.850 that placed her in a three-way tie for first. Watts, Mackey and Meredith Magjuka all scored a 9.800, while Cappalli redeemed herself to earn a 9.775 and Marenghi scored the same to tie her personal best from last week.
Even though the Heels had scored a 48.100 on bars, almost an entire point lower than last week, they came back strong with six solid routines on beam to end round two in second place with a combined score of 97.125.

“We had six strong routines from each of our athletes [on beam], but Janell Sargent has always been our anchor. And she had a very nice performance tonight,” said Head Coach Derek Galvin. “Balance beam was very encouraging for us, and if we can get bars back up to what it was, we should be okay.”

The Tar Heels next moved on to the floor exercise to kick off round three. They struggled with this event last week, suffering penalties for falls and stepping out of bounds, but made improvement tonight. Senior co-captain Kristin Aloi started for the Heels, making her meet’s debut, and earning a 9.650. Peterson performed second and added a 9.575, as did Cosentino, who competed officially for her first time on floor in two years. Margaret Brown, who has really had to step up recently due to health issues on the team, performed well and scored a 9.500.

“Margaret has been helping us out a lot. She had a good floor routine tonight, and her score would have even been a little higher if she hadn’t stepped out of bounds.” Said Galvin. “With Acacia, it was really exciting to see her compete again [on floor]. She not only stepped up for us on floor, but also did a really great job on bars.”

Cappalli struggled some with her floor routine, falling on her third pass that resulted in a score of 8.950. However, Watts reciprocated, nailing her routine to tie her personal best on floor with a 9.850. The Tar Heels headed into round four with a team score of 145.275.

Carolina took to the vault for its last event of the night. The Heels performed well and totaled a score of 48.375. Watts earned a 9.800 to lead the team and was followed by Peterson who scored a 9.750. Cappalli earned a 9.675, Brown and Aloi each added a 9.575, and Mackey posted a 9.525.

In the all-around, Watts finished second among the ten competitors from all four teams. She combined for a score of 39.250 on the four events, and was just half of a tenth of a point shy from finishing in first and tying her personal best of 39.300. NC State's Brittni Watkins, who is currently ranked first for the all-around in the EAGL with a high score of 39.425, finished third.

“We’ve been trying to put together lineups with the healthiest people. Michelle Ikoma and Christina Pheil are still nursing their injuries, people are sick, and we lost a full day of practice on Thursday due to the storm,” Said Galvin. “If we can just get a few more people healthy and get some solid practice sessions in, we will continue to build, and I think we can do well [next meet].”

The Tar Heels return to action next Friday, Feb. 21 at the University of Maryland. The meet is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
 
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
 
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
 
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
 
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
4th
LSU 28
WISC 24
 
Half
OREG 41
SD 13
 
3rd
HAW 10
WASH 17
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR