GW gymnastics tumble end over end

The Colonials had a disappointing performance on the balance beam in their final rotation to place third in Saturday’s quad meet at West Virginia University. Host West Virginia won the meet with 195.125, its second-highest total of the season. The Mountaineers were followed by Kentucky (193.925), GW (193.225) and Massachusetts (189.600).

West Virginia’s Teshawne Jackson won the all-around with a team record 39.400 while her teammate Kristen Macrie finished second in the all-around with a 39.250. Aronda Primault from Kentucky rounded out the top three with a 39.00.

Jackson also claimed first place on the vault and the balance beam with a 9.875 and a 9.852, respectively. Macrie finished first in the floor exercise with a 9.975. Kentucky’s Julie Joy took first on the uneven bars with a 9.875.

GW was in second place heading into the final rotation, ahead of Kentucky by 0.125 points. But the Colonials scored low on the beam (48.050) while Kentucky’s was solid on its last event, the uneven bars, scoring a 48.800. GW fell to third place.

GW usually fares well on the beam. In their two previous meets the Colonials scored a 47.025 (at GW Invite) and 48.425 (at University of Maryland) on the beam.

This match was uncharacteristic for the Colonials in another way: GW did not win a single event. Three Colonials posted top-10 scores on vault, two on the uneven bars, one on the balance beam and four on GW’s strongest event, the floor exercise. But not one Colonial finished first in an individual event, something that hasn’t happened in regular competition since last March in a third-place finish at the University of Florida. The highest GW placed in any event Saturday was fourth, on McCalla’s uneven bar score of 9.825.

McCalla finished fourth al-around for GW with a score of 38.950, while Jessica Mantak finished sixth with a score of 38.225.

While GW failed to place in any individual events or the all-around, there were some highlights for the underclassmen of the team. Sophomore Rachel Mann scored a season-high 9.775 on the floor exercise (10th place) and freshman Stefanie Tocco also set a season high on the uneven bars with a 9.800 (seventh place).

GW is now 6-3 on the season. The Colonials picked up four wins when they finished first in their first meet of the season, the GW Invite, but notched a loss to the University of Maryland last week. Their competition will not get any easier, as they will travel to North Carolina Friday to face the University of North Carolina and Bowling Green.

Marny Oestreng, one of the country’s best all-around performers, leads Bowling Green, which is currently ranked 21st in the nation. The Colonials have already beaten North Carolina at the GW Invite.

According to the national rankings as of Jan. 28, McCalla is tied for 16th in the nation in the all-around competition with Orley Szmuch of the University of Florida. The Colonials are ranked 30th in team standings.

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