The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday March 24th

UNC gymnastics misses first place by less than half a point

In gymnastics, every point counts.

And in the case of North Carolina’s gymnastics team, every tenth of a point does. For the second time in a row, the difference between first and second place was less than half a point.

The Tar Heels travelled to Washington, D.C., Sunday to compete in the Lindsey Ferris Invitational against George Washington, Temple, Cornell and Pittsburgh. But it was soon clear it was not a competition between five universities.

“The meet was definitely between two teams after the first two rounds,” Coach Derek Galvin said. “GW was particularly strong on the vault and the floor exercise, and that was the difference for the meet.”

And with a final score of 194.550 behind George Washington’s 195.025, UNC just barely missed the first place mark. George Washington is tied for No. 25 in the country. 

But Galvin was content with the Tar Heels' performance, saying it was definitely an improvement from last week’s showing against the then No. 12 Auburn Tigers.

“We definitely showed improvement from last week,” he said. “I was pleased with the energy throughout the competition. They maintained focus, and even though we had a couple mistakes, it was still a solid effort in terms of focus and composure.”

And one gymnast in particular who remained composed was freshman Morgan Lane, who tied for second in the all-around competition and scored a personal best.

“I always want to put the team first, so I just wanted to go out there and put my best out for them,” she said. “We just knew that we wanted to make a couple little corrections and be confident.”

And confident Lane was.

With three out of the top five spots in the all-around competition filled by UNC gymnasts, it would not be surprising to see that confidence travel with the Tar Heels to Towson, Maryland, Sunday for a quad meet.

But for Galvin, it’s more than just confidence that will take the team to the next level.

“There are still some things we can do in our execution of skills,” he said. “There were a couple mistakes on balance beam and a couple miscues. We want to focus on competing the same way we train and what remains now is to build cleaner execution.”

And it is that cleaner execution that might make the difference of just one half of a point.

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