The NC State gymnastics team made a season-best score of 195.650 and outscored Towson’s score of 193.975 at Reynolds Coliseum Saturday night in the team’s first home meet of the season.
The No. 40 Wolfpack hosted the No. 42 Tigers for the Pack’s second EAGL matchup. The Pack had a high-performing night with season highs for both the team’s scores as well as individuals. Senior Drew Grantham and freshman Emily Shepard stole the night, sharing the first-place podiums.
Grantham finished first on the beam with a season high of 9.825 and on the floor event with a score of 9.875 as well as the first-place all-arounder with a season best of 39.250. Shepard placed first on the vault with a personal best of 9.850 and a career high of 9.825 on the bars.
“I’m just super proud of this team,” said head coach Kim Landrus. “We had a lot of adversity that we had to overcome this week. And we went into today and we said we were going to rise as one. And I really think they took it, embraced it and went out and did their job. Everybody rose as one and went one routine at a time.”
Throughout the night, the Wolfpack dominated each event, scoring season highs for all four events. The Pack scored a 48.875 on the vault, followed by a 49.050 on the bars. On the beams, the team collectively scored a 48.725. Finishing the night on the floor, the Pack finished strong with a solid 49.000.
“We’ve now had a repetition and we’ve been used to this meet setting a couple times,” said junior Lauren Kent. “I think we’re putting it all together each and every weekend we’re getting better each and every weekend and we still have more room to grow.”
The Wolfpack shined bright on the bars with Shepard and Grantham scoring 9.825 followed by teammates sophomore Meredith Robinson, and juniors Katie Cox and Kent all scoring 9.800.
“If you look at the season as a whole, this was the first time we had five 9, 9.5 start values so that was great, that was major for us,” Landrus said. “And looking at all the other events, I think that we put it all together today and made little mistakes that we can fix.”
Landrus followed that statement with a short summary of the night.
“It was a really good, all-around performance and a total team effort,” Landrus said.
Kent finished in second after Grantham for the all-arounder podium. Kent scored a 39.050, tying her score from last week’s quad-meet. Even though Kent feels the strongest on the bars, she continued to push for improvement on the vault with a new season best of 9.755 along with Grantham who held a score of 9.725.
Freshman Chloe Negrete had a strong night with a 9.800 on the vault, 9.775 on the beam and a solid 9.850 on the floor. All scores were career bests for Negrete.
“I hope to just every week work on the details and build on that,” Negrete said. “I don’t want to get any lower than I am right now. I just want to keep going up and up and hopefully by the end of the season, it will be that much better.”
Junior Kasey Nelson also had a good night with a 9.725 on the beam for a season high followed by her floor performance. Nelson earned a 9.750 on the floor event.
“This past week we went into the gym and really focused on details and thinking about that one thing that we can do better,” Kent said. “I think we can all take away something from today and we’re really just going to hold onto that and focus on that and really just keep grinding in practice.”
Landrus echoed Kent’s statement for next week.
“We have to control the controllables,” Landrus said. “The controllables are what we do. So getting into next week our focus will definitely be on our performance and trying to nail down some of the details that we might have missed today and grow on the great things we had today.”
The Wolfpack will host its next meet against UNC-Chapel Hill for its third EAGL match Saturday, Feb. 1 at Reynolds Coliseum at 7 p.m.