In a meet where leads were separated by in?nitesimal amounts, the .55-point lead gained by the University of Maryland’s gymnastics team on the balance beam was too much for the gymnasts of the University of North Carolina to overcome.
The team turned in a subpar performance on the beam, only totaling 46.800, a full 1.1 points less than their previous meet.
Going into the third rotation, the Tar Heels led the Terrapins by just more than a half a point. Yet after the rotation where UNC faltered on the beam and Maryland executed their floor routines, UNC found itself in a one-point deficit.
“We gave up a point and half on falls in beam and going into the last event they had a full point lead on us and we closed that to four-tenths of a point with our floor performances and next time we can’t afford to give them that much of a lead,” UNC coach Derek Galvin said.
Krista Jasper started the rotation on the balance beam and, despite a few bobbles, earned a third-place finish with a score of 9.600. But the Tar Heels began a downhill slide after that.
“Krista was first up on beam and she stayed on and did a pretty good job, but then the wheels fell off,” Galvin said.
While in the middle of a flight series, Emily Cornwell lost her balance and dismounted the beam mid routine. She jumped back on the beam and finished the routine with a good landing, earning a score of 8.750.
With the exception of Jasper, freshman Kristin Aloi and junior Morgan Evans, every Tar Heel recorded a fall on the beam.
“I think we just had a little bit of jitters, I’m not sure exactly what created those jitters because they had confidence coming off the other events,” Galvin said. “But we’ll go back in the gym and we’ll focus on strategies to overcome nervousness or whatever it was that got a hold of them.”
Jasper followed her solid performance on beam by tying Aloi for first place in the floor exercise. It was obvious the team found a new energy on the floor as three of the top four finishers were Tar Heels.
“You just have to realize that event is over and there’s nothing you can do about it, nothing can change that,” Evans said. “So why not look to what we can do, what we can make better, so that’s why we made our floor routines as best as we could.”
Despite placing two gymnasts in the top three for the all-around competition, UNC still fell short of a win by .4 points.
“We had three good events, but unfortunately beam can do that to you,” Galvin said.
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