Despite some stellar individual accomplishments, the North Carolina gymnastics team finished fifth in the Lindsey Ferris Invitational in Washington, D.C., on Sunday with a score of 188.925.
Five teams competed in the tournament, including George Washington, Cornell, Pennsylvania and Temple. The last-place finish was a disappointing result for a Tar Heel team coming off a victory in its season opener against William & Mary.
“It was a tough weekend for us," senior Lexi Cappalli said. "We didn’t perform up to the standards we set for ourselves in the preseason. There were some great individual performances, but collectively we were disappointed.”
Only five gymnasts competed for the Tar Heels in the floor exercise and the uneven bars, which left little room for error when taking into account UNC's seven falls. Coach Derek Galvin said the team needed to find a way to get a sixth person on the uneven bars to better perform in the future.
Sophomore Kaitlynn Hedelund, however, had no problem performing. Missing a perfect 10 by the narrowest of margins, Hedelund wowed the spectators with a career high and winning score of 9.900 on the uneven bars.
Hedelund added team-high scores of 9.675 on the balance beam and 9.775 on the vault to take sixth place in the all-around competition.
Senior teammate Sarah Peterson matched Hedelund's third-place score on the vault, and sophomore Morgan Lane finished third on the floor exercise, tying a career-best score of 9.875.
“We have to realize that this weekend does not define us. We need to learn from our mistakes and move on. A meet like this stings, but we are not going to allow it to defeat us." — Cappalli on how the team will bounce back.
The Tar Heels capitalized on a season-high team score of 48.350 to capture second place overall on the vault. Five of the team's six gymnasts notched individual season-high scores during this rotation of the event.
Three numbers that matter
9.900: Hedelund's near perfect score on the uneven bars was tied for the highest score in any of the four rotations.
3: The number of Tar Heels — Hedelund, Peterson and Madison Nettles — who finished in the top six on the vault.
0.025: The microscopic margin separating Lane from top honors on the floor exercise.
The Tar Heels face the Towson Tigers at 2 p.m. on Sunday in Towson, Md.
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