Owls earn third place finish at Rutgers

Heading into the gymnastics team’s quad meet at Rutgers University with the Scarlet Knights, the University of Pennsylvania and Ursinus College on Saturday evening, coach Umme Salim-Beasley and her coaching staff had an idea.

She has wanted her squad to work on regulating and maintaining its energy levels for the duration of meets, so Salim-Beasley decided to provide snacks throughout the meet.

“That really helped keep their energy up,” Salim-Beasley said of the tactic. “It was good that we were on calm events first and then had our high-energy events, floor and vault, back to back. It was nice that we didn’t have to bring our energy level up and then bring it down and up again.”

The Owls posted their second-highest all-around team score this season, earning a 191.625 and third place overall finish. Ahead of Temple was the host Rutgers with a score of 195.075 and Penn’s 192.4.

At the meet, Temple also set three season-high event scores: a 48.675 in floor exercise, 48.25 on vault and 47.725 on beam.

The team began the evening on bars, its lowest scoring event of the competition. Sophomore Alexa Phillip finished second overall with a team-high 9.725.

Senior Reagan Oliveri and freshman Breahna Wiczkowski rounded out the scoring on the event with a 9.5 and 9.45, respectively.

Beam followed, and the Owls were led by sophomore Sahara Gipson’s 9.725. Junior Victoria Reggiani earned a 9.675 in her first career beam appearance, and Oliveri added a 9.625.

“We started out a little bit slow but we finished really strong,” Salim-Beasley said. “We didn’t give up after getting some lower scores on bars.”

Phillip, freshman India Anderson and senior Michaela Lapent earned identical 9.75s for their floor routines en route to another season high.

“We got so many compliments from judges from people that were in the audience about how they loved our floor routines,” Salim-Beasley said. “That’s always nice to hear at a competition that’s not your home competition.”

Vault was the last event of the evening, with Gipson earning a 9.75, good for fourth overall. Freshman Aya Mahgoub and Anderson each had scores of 9.7

Dan Newhart can be reached at dan.newhart@temple.edu or on Twitter @dannynewhart

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