GW conquers uneven bars, JMU to set scoring record

In what was easily its best meet of the season, the GW gymnastics team dominated James Madison University Thursday at the Smith Center by more than four full points, 194.350 to 189.750.

The Colonials set a school record with their point total, and easily won all four events. Their score of 49.100 on the uneven parallel bars also set a school record, bettering their score of 48.575 set in 1997. The bars have been the Colonial women’s Achilles’s heel for most of the season, but not against James Madison. All the gymnasts had excellent routines, and no one fell.

Freshman Devin McCalla recorded a season-high on the bars, 9.925, second on GW’s all-time performance list for the event. Darden Wilee and freshman Kelly Banks came in second and third with scores of 9.850 and 9.775.

“The bars have been our nemesis all year,” McCalla said. “Sticking them was the greatest thing ever.”

“I’ve had a lot of problems with bars, and I’ve finally conquered them. We did awesome. Usually if we fall, it starts to go downhill, but this time we kept going and did not fall.”

On the vault, each gymnast did better than the one before, culminating in McCalla, Darden Wilee and Jamie McNally each posting a 9.7. Amanda Forrest came in fourth for the Colonial women with a score of 9.675.

GW continued its excellent performance on the balance beam, where only one gymnast fell. The Colonial women had the top four performances on the apparatus, led by Wilee’s 9.775. Jessica Mantak, Kelley Banks and Erica Lewy finished in the next three positions.

On the final event, floor exercise, Wilee led the Colonial women with a season-high score of 9.875, followed by McCalla and Banks.

In the all-around competition, Wilee, after her incredibly strong performance on floor exercise, came in first with a school-record score of 39.200, while McCalla came in second.

GW Coach Margie Foster-Cunningham told the team “to remember how it feels to perform this well, to go home and dream about it, and hopefully it would carry over into next week’s meet,” McCalla said.

GW’s final home meet will be this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. versus Towson State University. GW will recognize senior team captain Meena Lakdawala as she competes in her last home meet.

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