North Carolina

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

Posted February 16, 2014

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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
ND 77
DUKE 73
Final
SAN 95
CHA 86
Final
NCSU 57
CLEM 68
 
Final
MEM 70
ECU 58
 
Final
PHI 89
DET 69
Final
CLE 99
POR 94
Final
TOR 119
SAC 102
Final
MIN 110
BOS 98
Final
ATL 113
BRK 102
Final
HOU 99
DAL 94
Final
NOP 85
DEN 93
Final
NYK 100
OKC 92
Final
SAN 95
CHA 86
4th
UTA 87
LAC 91
 
2nd
PHO 40
WAS 25
 
Final
VERM 44
GTDNS 47
 
Final
NAVY 64
AMER 54
 
Final
UMBC 56
BING 68
 
Final
JMU 88
DEL 82
 
Final
RICH 86
DUQ 55
Final
UNCW 82
ELON 65
 
Final
USB 72
HART 66
 
Final
WMARY 100
HOF 79
 
Final
COL 54
LAF 59
 
Final
PSU 63
MINN 58
Final
MAINE 58
UNH 63
 
Final
DREX 65
NE 60
 
Final
FORD 63
RIU 64
Final
SFLA 52
SMU 63
Final
MARQ 70
SHU 80
Final
LSU 64
SCAR 58
Final
UCF 62
TEMPL 86
Final
LONG 64
UNCA 74
 
Final
FSU 82
WAKE 76
Final
CCAR 68
WINT 75
 
Final
OU 84
WRST 76
 
Final
ND 77
DUKE 73
7:30pm Tonight
GHND 0
HC 0
 
Final
CSOU 77
RAD 84
 
Final
OKLA 81
TTU 36
Final
BRAD 57
DRAK 69
 
Final
BUCK 68
LEH 62
 
Final
WICHS 58
LOYC 47
Final
ILLST 67
MIZST 57
 
Final
PEAY 69
MORE 82
 
Final
SDKST 86
NEOM 64
 
Final
ARST 73
ORST 55
Final
HOU 59
RICE 48
Final
SILL 52
NIOWA 59
Final
NCSU 57
CLEM 68
 
Final
MEM 70
ECU 58
 
Final
MIAMI 50
GT 70
Final
PURD 83
IND 67
 
Final
TCU 61
KU 64
 
Final
BC 72
LOU 81
 
Final
MISS 79
MSST 73
 
Final
CREI 77
STJ 74
 
2nd
SJST 29
AFA 36
 
2nd
ARZ 51
OREG 38
 
1st
WASH 4
STAN 12
 
Final
NJD 2
TOR 1
Final
WAS 4
PIT 0