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Friday May 20th

UNC gymnastics picks up second-place finish at UNC Quad Meet

Junior Elizabeth Culton celebrates her succesful beam routine during UNC gymnastics' home meet on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Carmichael Arena.
Buy Photos Junior Elizabeth Culton celebrates her succesful beam routine during UNC gymnastics' home meet on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Carmichael Arena.

On Chapel Hill’s second snow weekend in a row, the Tar Heels escaped the cold weather at Carmichael Arena, where they faced off against No. 8 Missouri, Brown and EAGL conference opponent George Washington in the UNC Quad Meet.

What happened?

North Carolina’s first rotation was vault, where senior Emery Summey started the team off with a 9.725. Things only went up from there, as Summey was followed by sophomore Cory Shinohara, who put up a 9.800. 

The energy of the UNC gymnasts was electric as their teammates continued to excel through vault and they rushed to hug them in celebration. The only low point came when No. 41 first-year Julia Knower, the last Tar Heel to partake in vault, fell in her dismount. Regardless, her impressive performance leading up to the fall and her quick recovery allowed her to score a 9.625. 

North Carolina’s execution on vault allowed them to finish the first rotation with 48.875 points, just .350 points behind the current leader Missouri, who received 49.225 points on beam.

The Tar Heels then advanced to uneven parallel bars, where sophomore Jamie Shearer kicked things off with a 9.700. Once again, UNC only advanced with time. The second gymnast to take on bars, junior Sophie Silverstein, put up a 9.750. Regular season All-American junior Elizabeth Culton walked away with North Carolina’s top bars score with a 9.900. Overall, UNC improved from its first rotation, finishing bars with 48.925 for a total of 97.800 points. 

Despite the Tar Heels’ improvement, they trailed farther behind first place Missouri, who had 98.550 points. However, they still led third place George Washington and fourth place Brown.

Summey started off beam, just as she did with vault, and scored a 9.850 to begin the rotation. This score was then matched by Shearer, and similar scores followed, including a 9.925 from Culton and a 9.900 from Dekanoidze. The result was 49.350 total points for UNC on beam, its best rotation yet. Though it lessened the gap with Missouri, it wasn’t enough to put the Tar Heels in first place.

Junior Hannah Nam was the first UNC gymnast to compete on floor. She finished strong with a 9.875. Of the six Tar Heel gymnasts to perform on floor, only one scored lower than a 9.850, resulting in a floor score of 49.325. 

North Carolina’s final score of 196.475 allowed the team to finish in second place, just .375 points behind Missouri. 

Who stood out? 

Shinohara emerged as an early leader for North Carolina, putting up the team’s highest vault score with 9.8000. She was the second Tar Heel to compete for the team and set the narrative for the rest of the rotation, in which no UNC gymnast put up lower than a 9.625. Amongst her team, Shinohara’s score was only met by No. 44 first-year Lali Dekanoidze.

Dekanoidze shone on bars as well alongside Culton. Both gymnasts put up a nearly perfect score of 9.875 and 9.900 respectively. Dekanoidze and Culton went on to put up nearly perfect scores once again on beam. Culton was the best-scoring Tar Heel in the rotation with a 9.925, and Dekanoidze was right behind her with a 9.900.

In the final rotation of floor, Dekanoidze did not disappoint, putting up a score of 9.875 for 39.450 points for the day overall, allowing her to finish second all-around. 

When was it decided?

North Carolina and Missouri fought for dominance for the entirety of the UNC Quad Meet, with their overall scores never straying more than .750 from one another. The Tar Heels remained in second place behind the Tigers throughout the first three rotations, but a North Carolina victory never strayed out of reach. 

Floor was the Tar Heels’ chance to redeem themselves and close the .525 point difference separating them from first place. Though they were able to minimize this gap to .375, UNC failed to overtake Missouri, resulting in a second-place finish.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels returned home for the UNC Quad Meet after a close loss against Rutgers and EAGL conference opponent N.C. State at the Rutgers Quad Meet. This loss came just a week after UNC put up their program best season-opener score at the UNC Tri Meet. 

Saturday’s meet gave North Carolina the chance to prove themselves at their home arena where they so successfully kicked off their season two weeks ago. Their second-place finish and win over EAGL conference opponent George Washington mirrored that impressive season-opener performance.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will remain at home to face off against EAGL conference opponents Pittsburgh and Towson on Friday.

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com 

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