WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the final bars performance of the GW Invite Sunday afternoon, Maryland gymnastics freshman Austynn Lacasse had to put more chalk on her hands during the middle of her routine after unintentionally flying off the low bar.
Lacasse finished her Maryland debut by falling to her knees on her dismount. The two falls from Lacasse were a microcosm of a mistake-filled meet for the Terps, serving as their fourth and fifth falls of the afternoon.
While Maryland responded with some high scores, the miscues proved too much to overcome on Sunday. The Terps fell below 196.000 for the first time in two weeks, taking home third place at the GW Invite.
“We were one routine away from winning this whole meet and putting up a 196.000,” coach Brett Nelligan said. “We talked about how we’re never happy if we’re not in first, or in the 196s or both, but we really have to take a minute and realize how well we did under the circumstances.”
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For the second straight meet, Maryland started on beam in its first rotation. In the third spot in the lineup, freshman Emma Silberman lost her balance at the tail end of a stunt, forcing her off the platform.
However, Silberman’s teammates conquered her fall by hitting their landings the rest of the way. Senior Tiara Wright was the high scorer in the event with a 9.850.
Nelligan’s squad didn’t leave the falls in the first rotation, though. Junior Randi Morris went second on floor exercise, and she hit the mat hard on one of her passes. The mistake led to a score of 9.050.
Silberman interceded with a 9.825, but just one routine after her, freshman Reese McClure got tangled up on the crash mat. McClure finished with an uncharacteristic 9.250.
“I don’t really think [the falls] affected us that much,” senior Alecia Farina said. “Even though we did have a fall on beam, we had the rest of the lineup hit.”
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The Terps were able to weather the storm once again, as they finished with a satisfactory score of 48.525. But hopes of surpassing 196.000 for the third straight meet were mostly dashed after two rotations.
Fortunately for Nelligan’s squad, the third rotation was its bye. The team came out composed when it returned to action on the vault. After a light push on the vault, McClure stuck her feet on the mat, and the freshman led off with a 9.825.
Maryland’s bars scores were consistent from that point on, and it finished with a team-high overall score of 48.925.
“I don’t think it really affected us in a negative way,” Wright said. ”Each person that goes up is a brand new routine and is a clean slate, so I think that we did a really good job if there was a miss, we put up a good routine after.”
The first score of 9.900 or above didn’t go up on the board until the final rotation with freshman Aleka Tsiknias’ bars routine. Her teammates stuck all of their landings until Lacasse’s errors in the closing spot.
But, the 49.200 on bars was not enough to hide the low scores from earlier, and Maryland’s 195.300 was its worst score since Feb. 8.
“We were just a little tight to start off, but by the end of the meet, we brought it back,” Wright said. “We like to focus on the positives, so that’s what we’re gonna do heading out of this meet.”