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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC gymnastics sweeps floor routine, earns season-best 196.050 in third place finish

Morgan Lane
Morgan Lane, now a senior, competes in the 2017 EAGL Championships in Raleigh.

The North Carolina gymnastics team competed in its second quad meet of the season on Saturday night and finished third with a score of 196.050. The Tar Heels ended well ahead of Brown (192.450) and slightly behind Michigan (196.775) and N.C. State (196.575).

What happened?

North Carolina started the meet off on the uneven bars, which finished as its lowest scoring event of the night. Several Tar Heels struggled, including senior Kaitlynn Hedelund who scored a 9.200 and sophomore Grace Donaghy who scored a low 7.475. Senior Madison Nettles kicked off the event with a season-high score of 9.825, which earned her a sixth-place overall finish. North Carolina earned 48.200 points on the uneven bars.

The Tar Heels then headed to beam. First-year Rylie Dewhurst competed on beam as a Tar Heel for the second time, and she set a collegiate career-high score of 9.750. Hedlund recorded a season-high 9.850 for the Tar Heels. Sophomore Raine Gordon tied her career-high on beam with a 9.825. Sophomore Khazia Hislop tied her career-high on beam for the second week in a row with a score of 9.900, which earned her a third-place overall finish. 

The Tar Heel’s overall beam score of 49.100 was enough for the team to move past Brown and take the third-place spot.

The third rotation was the floor routine, and as usual, it was the Tar Heel’s strongest event of the night. The Tar Heels took home first, second and third place in the event. Hislop finished in third place with a score of 9.925. Senior Morgan Lane tied her career-best with a score of 9.925, which earned her second place. Nettles took first place with a huge, new personal record score of a 9.950. It was a season-high rotation score of 49.425 for the Tar Heels, and it put them at a 146.775 on the night.

North Carolina ended the night on vault, recording a season-high 49.275. Hislop scored a career best 9.925 and finished in first place. Junior Madison Hargrave recorded a career-high score of 9.775. Sophomore Alexis Allen tied her season-high score of 9.825. Nettles finished in fifth place with a tied personal record score of 9.875.

Who stood out?

Both Nettles and Hislop posted some big scores for the Tar Heels. They each recorded a first-place finish and continue to consistently be leaders on this team. Hislop placed in the top-3 in each event she competed in, and Nettles finished in the top 6. 

Lane also performed well for the team, finishing third place in the All-Around Competition, tying her season-high all-around score with a 39.300. She is the only Tar Heel who competes in all four events and finished 10th on vault, 13th on uneven bars, second on floor exercise and 10th on beam.

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels struggled early on the uneven bars, and after that, the team was never quite able to get all the way back in the meet. The Tar Heels still finished in third place, but after the poor start, first or second place seemed out of reach. The Tar Heels were down 0.4 points after the first rotation, and they were able to tighten that gap and pass Brown as the night went on, but they never were able to catch up with Michigan or N.C. State.

Why does this matter?

After the poor start on uneven bars, the Tar Heels could’ve collapsed — but they didn’t. They continued to cheer each other on and bring positive energy to the competition. 

Many of the gymnasts scored career-highs, season-highs and even personal bests. The Tar Heels earned season-high scores on vault and floor, and this shows that North Carolina is improving each week. 

The team’s overall score of 196.050 is a new season-high.

Where do they play next?

North Carolina returns home to Carmichael Arena on Feb. 19 at 3:30 p.m. to take on Brown.


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