Before the North Carolina gymnastics team’s opening meet against rival N.C. State, redshirt junior Acacia Cosentino had not competed in two years. Disregarding any type of adversity, Cosentino calmly took a deep breath, relaxed herself and began her routine on the bars.
As soon as she landed, every member of the UNC team exploded in excitement and sprinted toward Cosentino. They swarmed her with several hugs and congratulations. Cosentino’s impressive score of 9.85 would eventually earn her a second place finish in the uneven parallel bars event, helping the Tar Heels defeat the Wolfpack with an overall score of 194.075 to 193.950.
Last year, Cosentino tore her Achilles a few days prior to the first competition of the season. Despite the time spent away from competition, Cosentino said she was excited about her performance and did not want to have any regrets.
“I always feel a little bit nervous beforehand, but I was just thinking about using that to benefit me instead of hurting me,” Cosentino said. “Knowing that my teammates had my back and how great we were doing, I just wanted to keep that going.”
Coach Derek Galvin said he was impressed with Cosentino’s performance and praised her perseverance after last year’s season-ending injury.