Watkins Shines in Season Opener at UNC
Jan. 12, 2014
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Sophomore Brittni Watkins of the NC State gymnastics team captured the all-around competition with a score of 39.325, as the squad was edged in its 2014 season opener by North Carolina, 194.075-193.950, Sunday afternoon at Carmichael Arena.
“I thought we did some really good things,” said head coach Mark Stevenson. “Obviously, we made some mistakes which isn’t unusual for this time of year. I thought we performed especially well on vault and beam.”
The Wolfpack opened the afternoon on the uneven parallel bars, where Watkins and senior Stephanie Ouellette led the squad with a pair of routines that each scored a 9.8. Senior Diahanna Ham also had a strong showing that saw the Boston, Mass., native score a 9.725. Overall, the squad totaled a score of 47.950.
The Pack recorded its highest team score of the afternoon on vault with a 48.975. All six gymnasts to compete on vault recorded a score of 9.7 or higher. Watkins led the way for State as she posted a score of 9.875 to win the individual competition. Ouellette finished second with a score of 9.825, while Hannah Fallanca registered a 9.775 to tie for third overall. Ellen Marion and Lane Jarred rounded out the top scores for State, as each posted a 9.750.
At the midway point of the meet, UNC led the Wolfpack, 97.625-96.925.
Watkins, a product of Albany, N.Y., also led the Pack on floor exercise with her routine that scored a 9.825 from the judges to finish second in the event. Jarred performed a routine that garnered a score of 9.750. State posted a team score of 48.200, while the Tar Heels finished the event with a score of 47.250.
Fallanca posted State’s highest score of the afternoon on the balance beam, where the Winston-Salem, N.C., native took first-place with a score of 9.925. Watkins also recorded a strong routine that totaled a score of 9.825, while Ham followed closely with a score of 9.8. As a team, State posted a team total of 48.825, while UNC scored a 48.150.
Watkins finished the afternoon by claiming first in the all-around competition with a score 39.325. It was the sophomore's first time competing as an all-arounder. Ouellette finished the afternoon third in the all-around competition with a total of 38.625, while Jarred also competed in the all-around for the first time in her NC State career.
“I was really impressed with Brittni [Watkins] today,” Stevenson said. “I thought she had a phenomenal meet.”
Up next, the Wolfpack will open its home slate on Friday, Jan. 17 in a quad meet against Michigan, North Carolina and Towson. Action is scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m., inside Reynolds Coliseum.