After the Maryland gymnastics team’s 48.925 on beam, the Terps were on track for a solid score at Sunday’s Maryland Five Meet.
Instead, it hit its best event score of the season — a 49.4 on floor — in the final rotation to power a 196.325 overall score, breaking 196 for the second time this season and earning a win at the Five Meet.
“I am thrilled for them. I try not to look at the scores, I look at the gymnastics,” said coach Brett Nelligan. “For them, it’s a validation of all of that hard work. Everything we put into it at the gym every single day, it’s so great for them.”
Before each routine, Nelligan gave words of advice to pump up the Terps and alleviate any stresses. These words seemed to work on bars, where the Terps scored their highest bar total of the season, a 49.325 and freshman Emilie LeBlanc tieing a career high of 9.9.
“For bars, he really just calms us down, so we don’t get nervous. He just goes through our routine, and it helps us set our nerves right before going,” said LeBlanc. “What really helps me the most is that he reminds me to breathe, because if you don’t breathe, you get even more nervous.”
Maryland was followed by West Chester (193.325), Cornell (193.225), Southern Connecticut State (192) and Bridgeport (191.9). Scoring 196 or above has been the primary goal for the Terps this season, and they did so for the second time in their first 12 meets.
Their only higher score was a 196.575 on Feb. 11, the fourth-highest score in program history.
The Terps won each event — sophomore Alecia Farina on vault (9.825) and floor (9.925), LeBlanc on bars (9.9) and freshman Audrey Barber on beam (9.85).
“What we did tonight as a team after two double weekends in a row, for them to come out and go 24-for-24, I am just blown away,” Nelligan said. “They are so tough and talented. They continue to impress me every week.”
Barber has been working on her performance on beam, focusing on strengthening her confidence and final landings. Her 9.85 represented an improvement from Friday’s Temple Tri Meet, when she scored a 9.75 on beam.
Freshman Karrie Thomas, meanwhile, has tried to emphasize her overall presentation on floor. As she finished her routine, Nelligan pumped his fists wildly as she posted a career-high 9.9. Smiles extended across her face as the Coral Springs, Florida, native ended with a sharp landing, which helped the team to its 49.4 on floor.
“If we can  on a double weekend, then we can definitely do it at [the Big Five meet] and Big Tens,” LeBlanc said. “We can do it.”