Gymnastics gets back on track in UMD loss

The GW gymnastics team posted its season-high total Wednesday night in a second-straight loss to visiting Maryland. Despite the loss, GW head coach Margie Foster-Cunningham said the team’s strong performance signals an end to the inconsistency that has hampered the women in three previous meets.

“From here, we just need to build our confidence,” she said, saying this was the Colonials’ most consistent performance of the young season.

Jessica Mantak, who placed second in the all-around behind Maryland’s Gillian Cote, posted a season-high 39.100, with second-place finishes in both the floor exercise (9.875) and the balance beam (9.800). Teammate Devin McCalla won the floor exercise (9.900) and tied with Cote for first in the vault (9.825). She placed fourth in the all-around (38.975). Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Amber Melvin tied for fourth in the balance beam, sixth in the vault and seventh in the uneven parallel bars.

McCalla’s wins in the vault and floor exercise ended GW’s drought of individual first place finishes, which had lasted two previous competitions.

Both teams improved scores they posted in January, when Maryland beat GW in the Terps’ season-opener. The Terrapins had a record-setting night opening the season with a 194.550-193.850 win in College Park, Md. McCalla won the all-around for GW that night, posting wins in the floor exercise and tying for first on the beam with Terrapins senior Lisa Mealey. Foster-Cunningham said the Colonials weren’t worried about exacting revenge Wednesday evening, as teams are more concerned with “racking up points” than winning and losing.

GW headed into Wednesday’s contest coming off a disappointing performance at the University of North Carolina. UNC dominated the scoreboard Feb. 9, winning the vault balance beam and floor exercise.

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