The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday March 21st

UNC gymnastics places third in Lindsey Ferris Invitational

The North Carolina gymnastics team traveled to George Washington to compete in the 10th Annual Lindsey Ferris Invitational against George Washington, Cornell and Penn on Saturday. UNC ended the meet in third place with a score of 192.300, only 2.925 points behind George Washington’s first-place finish.

What happened?

North Carolina started out the meet with the floor exercise. Junior Morgan Lane and first-year Khazia Hislop scored 9.850 and 9.800 respectively, helping UNC tie for second place at the end of the first rotation. Although the team scored relatively well, head coach Derek Galvin expects more for the rest of the season.

“It wasn’t as strong as we expected,” Galvin said. “During the second event, which was vault, we refocused and stayed in the moment. For the freshmen, there’s no real way to prepare for the loud environment as all four events are going on at once.”

The second rotation was filled with power, characterized with scores above 9.600. Notable performances by junior Madison Nettles, first-year Alexis Allen and sophomore Madison Hargrave, who all scored above 9.700, weren’t enough to push the Tar Heels to first. Instead, the team fell to third place with a score of 96.475.

UNC carried the strong momentum into the third rotation, bars, where junior Kaitlynn Hedelund led the team with a score of 9.825 — 0.075 off from her career-high 9.9 set at the Lindsey Ferris Invitational last year. These high-scoring performances weren’t enough to push the Tar Heels to second place, but the effort closed the gap between to a .125 difference.

The fourth rotation, beam, wasn’t as high scoring for UNC. Throughout the event, the Tar Heels wavered between third and fourth place, as four of the six scores fell between 8.3 and 9.25. First-year Emma Marchese and Lane’s high-scoring performances solidified UNC’s third-place finish.

Who stood out?

Multiple Tar Heels tied or even topped personal bests during the meet.

Nettles tied her career best for floor (9.650) and bars (9.750), and first-year Mekyllah Williams tied her best score on bars (9.600).

Hislop scored a career-best 9.800 during her floor performance. Allen and Hargrave topped their career best on vault with scores of 9.750.

Lane, who competed in all four events, won all-around with a score of 39.150. She also placed first in the floor exercise with a score of 9.850, which was .050 off from her personal best.

When was it decided?

At the end of the third rotation, the Tar Heels were at a score of 145.000 — only .125 away from second place. The fourth rotation, which was beam for UNC, seemed to be where the team struggled, as they wavered between third and fourth place. Solid performances by Lane and Marchese pushed the Tar Heels past Cornell to secure a third-place finish.

Why does it matter?

After coming off a fourth place finish in the EAGL Championship last season, UNC is looking for a fresh start at the Lindsey Ferris Invitational to prepare for the season ahead. Last season, the Tar Heels finished in last place against the five teams present at the invitational. This team is relatively young with only five gymnasts returning to the team. With this invitational, it allowed the newcomers to see what a college gymnastics environment is like before they compete at home.

Where do they play next?

The Tar Heels will host Florida on Friday at 7 p.m.


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