– Temple women's gymnastics made history in Happy Valley on Saturday night posting the program's highest season-opening score of all time with a 191.925. The previous season-opener record was set in 2011 with a score of 189.625. Tonight's score stands as the Owls' 16th highest team score of all time.
"It was a good day," said head coach Umme Salim-Beasley
. "We started out a little tight on floor but they didn't let that affect them. They were focused and on track and they got the job done."
Overall, the hosting Nittany Lions took the win with a score of 194.625. Penn State was only one tenth ahead of BYU who came in second with a 194.525. Temple was able to place third ahead of Bowling Green who posted a score of 190.725.
The Owls opened up the afternoon with a high-powered floor lineup that posted a 47. 275. Sophomore India Anderson
led the event with a 9.65 followed closely by freshman Daisy Todd
who made her collegiate debut on the event with a 9.6. Also making her collegiate debut on the floor was Jaylene Everett
with a 9.575. Reagan Oliveri
opened up her final season with a 9.5.
The Temple vault lineup was undoubtedly solid, going six for six for an event total of 48.3. Sahara Gipson
, the 2016 team vault leader, kicked off her season with a 9.725 followed by solid showings from Todd and Yasmin Eubanks
who posted scores of 9.675 and 9.65 respectively. Sophomore Aya Mahgoub
also put up a 9.65 with Everett's 9.6 rounding out the top five scores. Senior Briana Odom
added a 9.5 with her first showing of an upgraded vault.
Stuck dismounts were contagious for the Owls' bar squad who posted a 48.075 in the third rotation. Todd and junior Alexa Phillip
both pulled in top scores of 9.775 in the fifth and sixths spots of the lineup. Gipson added a solid 9.625 with Oliveri and Eubanks adding scores of 9.475 and 9.425, respectively, to round out the lineup.
The Owls finished out the night on beam, topping all scores from the 2016 season with a 48.225. Gipson grabbed her second highest score of the day with a 9.725 followed by Oliveri's 9.7 and Todd's 9.675. Odom and fellow captain Breahna Wiczkowski
posted scores of 9.575 and 9.55, respectively, to complete Temple's season opener.
In her debut as both a collegiate gymnast and all-around performer, Todd was able to post an impressive 38.725 that placed third behind Penn State's Briannah Tsang (39.35) and BYU's Shannon Hortman (38.975). Todd's also wrote herself into the Owl record books with her all-around score ranking in a tie for 10th all time among all individual all-around performers.
"This was absolutely a confidence booster," said Salim-Beasley. "We were thinking about coming in and doing our jobs. That's exactly what they did. One mistake here or there didn't change their composer and that was excellent. We've been putting tons of pressure on them in practice and I think that translated into the team's performance tonight."
The Owls return to the floor Saturday, Jan. 14 for the Ozone Classic that features Illinois State, Centenary College and Wisconsin Eau-Claire. The meet will be held in Knoxville, Tenn. and will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET.