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The Daily Tar Heel

Going into the 2010 season, the gymnastics team is returning home.

With renovations to Carmichael Arena complete, the Tar Heels are looking forward to a season that includes several home meets.

This season marks the first time the gymnastics team will host home tournaments in two years, coach Derek Galvin said.

“The only girls who have experienced competing here are our juniors and seniors, and it will be nice to have the seniors compete there for their final season,” he said.

In the victory at William & Mary on Jan. 24, Galvin said the team looked confident and composed, but the last event— balance beam — was not up to optimal level.

In practice, Galvin said a major priority is improving the level of execution and quality of routines.

Seniors Kara Wright and Christine Nguyen agreed.

“Since the last meet we’ve kind of been working on polishing our routines,” Wright said. “Now we know we can make them, so it’s all about our confidence in ourselves and in our teammates.”

Nguyen added that details like hitting handstands, staying in bounds and sticking landings will be important for a winning season. Last year, UNC finished third in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League.

This year, four freshmen joined the Tar Heels, and some have already been competing.

Freshman Michelle Ikoma  competed on vault and floor exercise at William & Mary. She said the transition into college gymnastics took her a semester to adjust, but she is ready for this season.

“I’m just loving competing in college,” she said. “It’s so much more fun.”

The team is hosting its first home meet on Feb. 14 against Maryland. Wright said the team has already seen improvement since its last meet, and she expects the team’s performance to get better as the season continues.

“The plan is to peak at the end of the season at EAGL Championships and regionals, and we can make history,” Wright said.


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