On Friday night, Temple University gymnastics (9-9, 1-0 Eastern College Athletic Conference) defeated Illinois State University (7-7, 1-1 Midwest Independent Conference), West Chester University of Pennsylvania (10-9), Southern Connecticut State University (7-11), and Ursinus College (2-14) to win the Unite for Her “Pink Meet” at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The team posted a 194.45, which was its second-highest overall score of the season at the time.
“Friday was a good meet, it was a strong performance, you know a strong team effort,” coach Josh Nilson said. “We still made a couple big mistakes, but overall I was very pleased with Friday’s meet.”
Temple began the competition on beam with a score of 48.825, the sixth-highest total in bars in program history. Senior Jazmyn Estrella and junior Delaney Garin shared the beam title with scores of 9.80. Sophomores Ariana Castrence and Taylor Newland tallied scores of 9.750 and finished fourth in the event.
“Our beam team is awesome. I mean they train in practice how they compete,” Nilson said. “There’s just a couple little form things and they’ll be in the 49s consistently. But a 48.825 Friday, I’m very pleased with, they’re not that far off.”
The Owls recorded a score of 48.675 on floor, which was the best total score in the meet. Garin posted a 9.825 on floor to tie for second place in the event. Juniors Jordyn Oster and Tori Edwards scored 9.775 each.
Temple also notched the highest score in vault with a 48.675. Castrence claimed the event title with a 9.850. Estrella and Edwards finished in the top five in the event with scores of 9.750 and 9.725, respectively.
The team completed the meet on bars with a score of 48.275. Estrella won the bars title with a score of 9.95, which was the highest score of any Temple gymnast on any event since 2002. Castrence recorded a career-high on the event and finished fourth overall by posting a score of 9.850.
“[Estrella] works really hard in the gym,” Nilson said. “So really she told me the other day, she’s like ‘You know, I feel like I’ve got my swing back.’ And that’s just who [Estrella] is, she’s just phenomenal on bars and that’s why we’re happy to have her on our bar team. She’s just great at what she does.”
On Sunday afternoon, Temple fell to North Carolina State University (10-4, 5-2 East Atlantic Gymnastics League), George Washington University (11-8), and Northern Illinois University (4-4, 3-1 Mid-American Conference) in the Quad Meet at George Washington in Washington, D.C. Despite losing, Temple surpassed its overall score from Friday, posting a season-high score and the fourth-highest score in program history at 195.075.
“The whole meet was within a point, of course we would’ve loved to beat them and win,” Nilson said. “But this was a great step forward for the program and really I only see better things from here on out. So it wasn’t really disheartening at all, we’re very proud of how the girls did and I think they’re very proud of how they came together.”
The Owls began the afternoon on beam with a score of 48.575. Freshman Madison Brooks tallied a career-high score of 9.800 in the event to finish seventh overall. Garin posted the second-highest score on the team with a 9.750.
“I think the biggest learning experience for these girls is that they don’t have to be perfect, they just have to function as a team,” Nilson said.
Temple’s next event was the floor routine, as they recorded a 48.700. Garin notched a 9.850 on floor to tie a career-high and her second score above 9.8 this weekend. Castrence posted a 9.775 on the event, as Edwards and Oster both set a score of 9.700.
“We’ll focus on cleaning up floor a little bit this week and going to Maryland and seeing if we can do our best on floor then,” Nilson said.
Temple tallied a score of 48.5 on vault in their third rotation of the day. Brooks scored the highest on the team with a 9.775. Edwards, Estrella and senior Jaylene Everett each posted scores of 9.725 on vault.
The Owls finished the day on bars, recording a season-high score of 49.300. This was the best score on the event in 16 years and the second-highest score in program history. Garin, Edwards, Estrella, and Castrence all tallied a score of 9.875. With that score, they won the event title while Garin, Edwards and Castrence posted career-highs. Senior Daisy Todd also recorded a season-best score of 9.800.
“They do great work in the gym and it just hasn’t quite translated over,” Nilson said. “So I’m really glad that all their preseason work and frankly all their work up to this point on bars is starting to shine through.”
Temple will travel to College Park, Maryland to take on the University of Maryland (6-6, 3-6 Big Ten Conference), College of William & Mary (4-9, 1-4 ECAC), Penn (8-5, 6-4 ECAC) and Yale University (10-5, 3-4 ECAC) in the Multi Meet at Maryland on Mar. 1.
“Well I think the biggest learning experience for these girls is that they don’t have to be perfect, they just have to function as a team,” said Nilson. “They were tired, but they gave it their all, and they realized that the strength of the team is really all that matters. And I’m, I’m really proud of them for that.”