Temple University gymnastics (14-12, 3-3 Eastern College Athletic Conference) placed in second place against West Chester University of Pennsylvania (12-7), Bowling Green State University (10-12, 0-5 Mid-American Conference), and Penn (8-13, 7-8 ECAC) on Friday. The team notched an overall score of 193.975 on Alumni Night.
“You know I think we have a lot bigger gymnastics,” coach Josh Nilson said. “I think we have more difficulty, but with that comes more risk. And on Friday we just weren’t clean enough, just weren’t clean enough.”
The Owls posted a 48.1 on vault, their first event of the night. Sophomore Ariana Castrence recorded a team-high score of 9.75 and claimed second place in the meet. Senior captain Jazmyn Estrella posted a 9.7 on vault.
“[Castrence] is just consistent, I think that’s the word I’d use for her,” Nilson said. “She works her tail off and she’s humbled. But she works her tail off and she’s a great teammate.”
The team competed in bars for their second event of the night and set its second-highest score of the season with a 48.75. Freshman Madison Brooks recorded a career-best score of 9.825 and tied for first with Castrence. Estrella notched a score of 9.725.
In beam, Temple posted a 48.25 on the night. Sophomore Taylor Newland scored a team-high 9.725 in the event. Junior Jordyn Oster recorded a 9.7 on beam with Brooks and junior Delaney Garin scoring a 9.65 each.
“So that’s the biggest positive, and they overcome some tough, tough officiating,” Nilson said. “You know you can’t blame these on judges, if the deduction is there, they can take the full deduction. It’s the crazy part about our sport, and they just did, they hammered us.”
The Owls finished the night off on floor with a 48.875, their highest rotation of the night. Senior Jaylene Everett placed second place in the event with a season-best score of 9.825. Newland set a career-high score of 9.8 and Castrence recorded a 9.775 on floor.
On Sunday, Temple defeated Ursinus College on its Senior Day. The team scored a season-high overall score and third-best program score of 195.575.
“They did a great job,” Nilson said. “I think the score didn’t even indicate how good it was. But like I said, sometimes the judging’s tight. Tonight it was tight, but fair on beam. But that was a beam team, I mean they put on a beam clinic, I couldn’t be more happy about it.”
Estrella, Everett and Daisy Todd were honored before the meet. Nilson spoke about the growth of the gymnasts during their collegiate careers at Temple.
“The biggest thing in the last two years I’ve seen is how they’ve grown as leaders, as people,” Nilson said. “Gymnastics-wise, they came in great and they’re still great. But sometimes your role changes and that’s hard, but two of my three seniors are captains. I’m just proud of the growth they’ve had as people.”
Temple began the meet on vault with a score of 48.725. Brooks placed first in the event with a team-high score of 9.8. Estrella and Castrence both recorded scores of 9.75 to tie for a second place finish on vault.
The Owls notched their second-highest score of the season and fifth-best score in school history on bars with a 49.025. Estrella posted a 9.9 on bars to claim the event title, her fourth of the season. Castrence followed behind her in second, tying a career-high score of 9.875 in the event. Garin notched a 9.8 to finish third in the meet.
“I just think today was most about having fun and just enjoying my time with my team because it is one of the last that we’ll be able to do,” Estrella said. “So I think being that the scores were great, that’s always a plus.”
The team tallied a score of 48.725 on beam on Senior Day. Brooks and Garin set scores of 9.8 to tie for first in the event. Estrella clinched a 9.725 to place third and Oster and Castrence both posted a 9.7.
Temple completed the meet on floor with a season-high score of 49.1. The total also tied the fourth-best floor score in program history. Castrence set a career-high score of 9.9 to claim the event title. Oster notched a career-best score of 9.875 to finish in second place. Junior Tori Edwards recorded a season-high score of 9.825 to take third place in floor.
“I think the biggest thing is they’re having fun,” Nilson said. “I think the first half [of the season], they weren’t having fun. And I think now they just want to enjoy their last few meets.”
The Owls will face the College of William & Mary (6-15, 2-9 ECAC) in their final regular season meet of the season on March 14 in Williamsburg, Virginia.
“Support each other, trust each other, and know that we have each other’s backs,” Estrella said. “And at the end of the day, as long as we’re having fun, it’s all worth it.”