Gymnasts narrowly edge URI

Led by senior standout Devin McCalla, GW narrowly held off Rhode Island 194.950-194.025 in Kingston, R.I., Saturday. It was not McCalla’s best performance of the year, but clearly the senior ruined URI’s Senior Night, helping defeat the Rams who posted their best score this season and the third best in team history.

McCalla swept every event and won the all-around with a 39.425, just ahead of last week’s Atlantic 10 Performer of the Week and teammate Jessica Mantak. The win ends a Colonial drought that began Jan. 25, when McCalla won the title in a loss to Maryland.

McCalla won the vault (9.850), beam (9.850) and floor (9.900), and she tied for first with Ram Stephanie Clark on the bars (9.825).

Mantak continued her impressive performance by taking second in the all-around (39.075) for the third-straight week. Mantak finished tied for sixth in the vault with a 9.650, fourth on the uneven bars with a 9.775 and fourth on the balance beam with a 9.800. She took third on the floor exercise with a 9.850.

Also for GW, senior Jamie McNally had a strong showing in the two events she competed in, tying for fourth in the vault (9.675) and floor exercise (9.825)

The Colonials, who for the third straight match exceeded a 194.00, had a top performance on the beam, an event GW struggled with earlier this season. GW scored a 49.050 on the event while Rhode Island managed only a 48.025. At last week’s Towson Invitational, only two GW gymnasts placed in the top six on the beam. This week GW grabbed six of the top seven places, with McCalla taking first and freshman Amber Melvin tying for second. Melvin also placed third on the vault with a 9.700.

GW looks to continue its winning ways in the Wolfpack Invitational March 1. GW will face off against North Carolina State University, the College of William and Mary, James Madison University and the University of North Carolina.

NOTES: Jessica Mantak was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Performer of the Week February 19. The senior led the GW to first place in the Towson Invitational with a career-high all-around score of 39.30, good for second in the all-around competition. Mantak’s performance was highlighted by a tie for first place on the balance beam (9.825). She finished second on the uneven bars with a score or 9.85, fourth on the floor exercise with a 9.875 and sixth on the vault with a 9.75.

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