Temple University gymnastics (4-4) set the season record in overall points with a total of 195.000 Friday night at the Ken Anderson Invitational. They improved to 4-0 at McGonigle Hall, defeating the University of Bridgeport (6-4, 3-1 Eastern College Athletic Conference) and Ursinus College (1-7) in the process.
“I mean this team, I think they believe now,” coach Josh Nilson said. “You know, I’m the coach that came in and raised the expectations and said we’re going to do all these great things. Last year they didn’t believe it. I think they believe it now.”
Temple started the night on vault and set a season-high score at 48.975. Junior Faith Leary and sophomore Ariana Castrence both notched a 9.85 in vault and tied Bridgeport sophomore Julianna Roland for first place in the event. Freshman Madison Brooks achieved a career-high on the vault with a score of 9.825.
“You know, I think that it just shows that this season is everlasting and it’s not a short season,” Castrence said. “It’s a long season so you have to, even though if you have a good meet, you have to you know channel that into practices and keep preserving your body because like I said, the season goes on.”
Castrence led the team and claimed first place in bars with a score of 9.825 on the night, tying a career-high. Junior Delaney Garin received a score of 9.775, which tied her career-high and placed her second overall in the event. Temple earned a score of 48.3 in bars as Brooks settled with a score of 9.65.
“Well, the biggest thing that it shows is that they’re not willing to accept the 46,” Nilson said. “You know they’re not okay with it, they’re still not happy with a 48.3. But what I told them after bars was, we went nearly two points higher, we can build on that even more.”
“But I think what they realized tonight more than anything else is even though we made major mistakes on bars, we’re a strong team,” Nilson added. “We can still get it done if we make a major mistake.”
The Owls had a successful night on beam as they obtained a season-high and the second-highest score in program history with a 49.1. Garin claimed the event title with a career-high and team season-high score of 9.9. Castrence followed behind her in second place with a career-high score of 9.875. Senior Jazmyn Estrella clinched a season-high of 9.8.
“And so we just as a team today we just got up there, we told each other we’re just gonna go out there be as confident as we can,” Garin said. “And I think that that really carried us to our season-high beam score and just today in general.”
Garin spoke on behalf of her teammates and noted how they are “huge” in cheering and helping her through her routines.
“Even in practice they hype you up all the time and none of this would be even close to being accomplished if you didn’t have your teammates you know,” Garin said. “When we’re at practice or when we’re having a bad day like they’re just really there for you, and super supportive.”
Temple completed their night with a score of 48.625 on floor routine. Leary posted a season-high 9.875 and won the event title. Junior Tori Edwards set a season-high score of 9.8, while junior Jordyn Oster achieved a career-high with a 9.775.
Castrence won the all-around category with a score of 39.05, her second title of the 2020 season.
“Just taking note of everything that we could have done better and everything that we can improve on and going in the gym and working on exactly that,” Castrence said. “And hopefully we can show out next week.”
The Owls will take on Penn (1-5, 1-0 ECAC) on Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. in the Pink Meet.
“The biggest thing we’re going to focus on this week is just staying loose on bars,” Nilson said. “Unfortunately we have a long week, we got nine days before UPenn so we’re going to come back strong and we’re going to put together four, four events.”