Temple sets program record in win against Towson

The Owls recorded their best score on the road in program history and second-best score overall in their second win of the season.

Junior all-around Ariana Castrence performs on the uneven bars during the Owls' meet with the University of North Carolina at McGonigle Hall on Feb. 21. | NICK DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University women’s gymnastics (2-12-1, 2-10-1 East Atlantic Gymnastics League) defeated Towson University (11-11-0, 0-0-0 East Atlantic Gymnastics League) on the road at SECU Arena Friday night. 

Temple recorded a season-best score and the second-highest score in program history with a 195.925 which is Temple’s best road score in program history. Towson recorded a score of 195.400.

“They earned every little bit of score,” said head coach Josh Nilson. “They weren’t perfect, but they stuck together. The girls are still hungry, they know they can do better, so they’re really excited they can come back Sunday.”

The meet was originally scheduled to be a tri-meet, but George Washington University was pulled from competition in warmups due to COVID-19 contact tracing protocols.

The Owls competed on floor in the first rotation and recorded a 49.225. Senior Faith Leary tied for first in the event with a 9.875, making it Leary’s fourth floor title of the season. 

Junior Ariana Castrence and freshman Brooke Donabedian scored a 9.850 to place third overall in the event.

On vault, Temple set a season-best score and the third-highest score in program history with a 49.075. Freshman Renee Schugman tallied a career-high score of 9.850 to place second overall in the event. 

Castrence, junior Julianna Roland and sophomore Madison Brooks all recorded a score of 9.825 to tie for third. Castrence also completed her first double full of the season at the event.

“Even on vault, I think that wasn’t the best that I’ve seen them do,” Nilson said. “But they stuck together and I told them in the beginning, ‘Have your teammates back, fight for every turn,’ and that’s exactly what they did. They were more unified tonight than I’ve ever seen them.”

The team set a season-high and the fifth-best score in program history on bars with a score of 49.025. Castrence posted a 9.850, which was tied for first overall. 

Junior Nichole Smith and freshman Cyrena Whalen notched a score of 9.825 each to finish third. Smith’s career-high score was the first podium finish of her career.

On beam, Temple put up a 48.600 to round out the competition. Roland recorded a 9.825, while Schugman recorded a 9.775 and Castrence scored a 9.725.

The Owls totaled 12 podium finishes, including four from Castrence and two from Roland. Castrence won the All-Around title with a score of 39.250.

“If I’m being honest, this was just a team effort, and I’m so happy about that,” Nilson said.

Temple will stay on the road and take on Towson and the University of New Hampshire (7-3, 4-1 East Atlantic Gymnastics League) at SECU Arena in a tri-meet March 14 at 4 p.m.

“I think the team is already ready to go on Sunday,” Nilson said. “They are fired up, they know they can do better. They’re not satisfied, they know they can be better and that’s the attitude going into Sunday, and I couldn’t be more pleased with that.”

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