The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday March 28th

Gymnastics strong in regular season finale

The North Carolina gymnastics team ended the regular season Friday with one of its strongest performances of the year. The Tar Heels posted a team score of 194.775, their best away score this season and second-best all year.

UNC finished the night .500 points ahead of runner-up Brown. William and Mary and Rutgers finished third and fourth, respectively, falling more than a full point behind North Carolina.

For the first time since their last victory— a home win against Pitt on Jan. 31 — the Tar Heels went into a meet at full strength.

UNC welcomed back two key contributors Friday in freshman Christina Pheil and senior Michelle Ikoma, both of whom missed time this season with injuries.

In her first meet in almost two months, Pheil competed in only the floor exercise, earning a score of 9.750

Ikoma earned the same score in her only event of the night, the vault.

“Christina and Michelle are healthier now, and it showed in their performances,” said coach Derek Galvin to

While the Tar Heels excelled in all aspects on Friday, their victory came because of their scores on the uneven bars.

North Carolina tied its season-high score of 49.050 , which was almost half a point higher than second-place Brown.

Leading the way for North Carolina was junior Haley Watts, who finished with a personal best of 9.900. Freshman Megan Marenghi also earned the best score of her young career, coming in at a 9.875.

In addition to excelling on the uneven bars, Watts led UNC in the all-around, taking third place behind a score of 39.000.

Next week, the Tar Heels will travel to New Hampshire to compete in the Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League Championship.

“We have some good momentum going into the EAGL Championships next weekend,” Galvin said.

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