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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
Half
NCCU 62
BASC 20
 
2nd
CHA 59
PHO 50
 
Half
NCSU 39
TENN 27
 
2nd
CLE 60
ATL 62
 
2nd
CHA 59
PHO 50
 
1st
DET 30
DAL 32
 
1st
BOS 23
ORL 28
 
1st
MIA 14
UTA 29
 
8:00pm Tonight
TOR
BRK
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
MEM
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
HOU
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
IND
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
2nd
MSST 27
ARKST 35
 
Half
NCCU 62
BASC 20
 
Half
GMAS 45
CATAWBA 37
 
Half
WOFF 27
CSOU 26
 
Half
HIGH 47
FERR 22
 
1st
JVU 30
GWEBB 43
 
Half
ILL 37
HAMP 25
 
Half
BST 23
JMU 30
 
1st
YOUNG 39
KNST 46
 
Half
UMO 31
LONG 21
 
Half
PITT 26
MAN 21
 
2nd
OSU 41
NCAT 26
 
1st
FSU 30
UNF 25
 
Half
TOL 40
RMU 28
 
Half
CAMP 37
SIUE 30
 
Half
DUQ 27
RFLSH 40
 
Half
NCSU 39
TENN 27
 
1st
UCF 24
DET 19
 
1st
UNCW 21
LIB 15
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
ABCHRIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MURST
ALCOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
ARKPB
 
8:00pm Tonight
NW
CMICH
8:00pm Tonight
WKENT
CHIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ODU
UGST
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
ILLCH
8:00pm Tonight
LALAF
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULSA
MIZST
8:00pm Tonight
UWGB
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEOM
NCOL
 
8:00pm Tonight
TTU
SCST
 
8:00pm Tonight
DEN
TAMCC
 
8:00pm Tonight
STEPH
TXST
 
8:00pm Tonight
STLU
TXPA
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
USCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLST
TENNM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MSU
EMICH
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
INCWORD
 
9:00pm Tonight
STAN
LMU
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
NMST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CIN
SDST
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
WINT
 
10:00pm Tonight
NMU
CARK
 
10:00pm Tonight
PEPP
HOW
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
NE
 
10:30pm Tonight
UNLV
PORT
11:00pm Tonight
OREG
CSNO
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
GRAM
1st Intermission
NJD 0
OTT 1
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL