The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday December 7th

Gymnasts Save Their Best for Last

But not to worry. The Tar Heels saved the best for last.

UNC, after a less than superb opening performance on vault, saw itself in last place.

"The vault scores in general were a little tight, but we knew if the judges were consistent, we would be OK," UNC coach Derek Galvin said.

The Tar Heels came up big in their last two events to edge Towson 194.450-194.225. Maryland and N.C. State finished third and fourth in the quad-meet, respectively.

On balance beam, UNC sophomore Natalie Halbach and senior captain Brooke Wilson dazzled throughout, tallying respective scores of 9.95 and 10.00.

Wilson's mark broke her previous best effort on beam of 9.95.

Halbach credited the score to constant practice and attention to detail.

"It's the little things like pointed toes and polishing the dance that makes a difference," Halbach said. "Taking out the tiny wobbles and hitting it rock solid instead of staying on the beam and wiggling a little bit."

UNC, after a near flawless team effort on beam, trailed Towson by .350. The Tar Heels entered floor exercise needing another stellar team effort to overtake the Tigers for the Governor's Cup.

Mission accomplished.

"We were second after beam, so we went to floor," Wilson said. "At a home match, that is an event you love to do, because you've got your music and the home crowd, so we just decided we were going to win it on floor, and we did, we really did."

UNC mixed energetic routines and hit several challenging flip combinations en route to a 49.000 team score, enough to down Towson by .225.

Although the victory was the result of a team effort, another storyline emerged with the performance of Maddy Curley.

Curley, a freshman from Tallahassee, Fla., finished fourth in the all-around, setting personal bests on floor, beam and uneven bars.

"It's definitely a payoff, it feels great," Curley said. "You don't really think about your individual score at all when you are doing a meet, but (doing well) is always a nice bonus."

Said Wilson: "She is absolutely amazing; for a freshman, her consistency is key. She has helped us out a ton. She's walked into college gymnastics like she has been here forever."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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