Temple hosted the Ken Anderson Memorial on Saturday, its first home gymnastics meet of the season.
The Owls were one of five teams competing in the event—the rest of the field included William & Mary University, Ursinus College, West Chester University and Southern Connecticut State University.
Temple placed second overall with a total team score of 191.175 behind defending Eastern College Athletic Conference champions William & Mary. The Tribe posted a team score of 191.375.
“I thought we had a really good performance today,” senior captain Reagan Oliveri said. “It’s always a little bit nerve-wracking coming into your home gym. Yeah, it’s your equipment and your home crowd, but there’s always that little bit of extra pressure to do well.”
Temple started Saturday on vault, with sophomore Sahara Gipson posting a team-high 9.75 followed by freshman Aya Mahgoub’s 9.625.
Rounding out the scoring on vault were junior captain Bri Odom and freshman India Anderson with identical 9.575 scores.
Next up for the Owls was uneven bars. Oliveri led Temple individually earning a season-high score of 9.85. Odom followed, posting the third highest individual score overall with a 9.8.
“I think we had some really good points today,” Coach Umme Salim-Beasley said. “We started off really great on vault and bars, it was definitely a season high for our bar lineup. We had career highs for some of our individuals as well.”
The Owls had a few falls on their beam routines, and were led by Oliveri’s 9.7. Sophomore Kayla Kennedy posted a 9.525 to keep Temple in the mix for first place overall.
“When you have the first person in lineup that goes and competes and falls, it really changes the dynamic of the rest of the girls that compete,” Salim-Beasley said. “They tend to hold back, and balance beam is just not the event you can do that on.”
Oliveri competed in floor for the Owls’ final event of the day, her first time since last season.
Odom anchored the lineup, posting a team and invitational-high 9.8. Gipson and Anderson had identical 9.65 scores, and sophomore Alexa Phillip had a 9.625.
“I think that just comes with practice,” Odom said. “In practice when we fall, we get back up and that’s what we have to do when we compete. When we fall, it’s not the end of the world and we just have to switch it around and make sure the next girl up hits.”
Dan Newhart can be reached at email@example.com.
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