The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

Gymnastics falls in opener, still encouraged for future

Junior Lexi Cappalli performs her floor routine at the meet against Auburn on Friday, January 9th.
Buy Photos Junior Lexi Cappalli performs her floor routine at the meet against Auburn on Friday, January 9th.

Classy, bullet-proof, passionate, lively and family.

These are the five core values that the 2015 North Carolina gymnastics team is going to live by this season, one that kicked off Friday with a close defeat at the hands of the No. 12 Auburn Tigers: 193.75-194.150.

Despite the loss, the Tar Heels were upbeat after the meet, choosing to define their performance not by the final score but by how they stacked up to their own core values.

“For our first meet of the year, the goals that the team had coming in, they achieved,” Coach Derek Galvin said. “We are thrilled to stay as close as we did to the No. 12 team in the country.”

A perfect team score in gymnastics is 200, with a maximum of 50 points available in each of the four disciplines: vault, floor, uneven bars and balance beam. UNC outscored the Tigers on three of the four events, but were beaten on the beam by .725, a wide margin in this sport, which was enough to give Auburn the overall victory.

Junior Lexi Cappalli said the mishaps on the four-inch-wide beam were not for a lack of practice but were instead due to mental errors.

“We just need to stay confident and trust our training on beam,” Cappalli said. “That’s the event that we have done the most routines on. And if we just compete the way we practice, the problem would be fixed.”

Other than the problems on the balance beam, the Tar Heels can take a lot of positives away from this meet. Not the least of which was the passion and liveliness, two of the five values, on display inside of Carmichael Arena. The official attendance was listed at 2,508, which is comparable to many women’s basketball games played under the same roof.

The person most directly responsible for that energy is Galvin, who has guided his program for over 30 consecutive seasons but still struts around the floor with just as much excitement and eagerness as his gymnasts who were not yet born when he first became head coach.

“There is no one who has more passion for gymnastics, more passion for Carolina athletics than Derek,” Cappalli said. “He’s been the coach here for 34 years, and he doesn’t look a day over 20. I mean he still acts like a 20-year-old. So to have that spirit, it kind of rubs off on everyone.”

Galvin says that his team, which is currently unranked, still has a long way to go in order to compete with the best squads in the nation, but he sees a lot of promise in his group.

“They really have worked well together,” he said. “I think they recognize they have a lot of potential, and now its time to build on that.”


The Daily Tar Heel's 2023 Black History Month Edition

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive