TSU, Maryland achieve stated mission Combined effort keeps Governor's Cup in hand

February 04, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Maryland coach Bob Nelligan rounded up his gymnasts and members of Towson State's team after yesterday's inaugural Governor's Cup meet. With the two teams encircling him, Nelligan pointed at the floor of the Towson Center and let them all in on a little secret: "The Cup is staying here."

The meet, which originally was scheduled to pit the two Maryland schools against North Carolina and N.C. State, had to be slightly restructured because N.C. State was unable to make the trip because of the snowstorm.

Since they didn't have two scores to add together to come up with North Carolina's total, N.C. State was awarded its seasonal average of 189.6375 and that score was combined with the Tar Heels' score to determine the state of North Carolina's score.

It wasn't enough.

Towson State (8-1), led by all-around champion Erin Shanley (38.725), racked up 191.625 points, helping the state of Maryland hold on to the Governor's Cup and enabling the Tigers to take first in the simultaneous tri-meet competition.

"N.C. State not being here really made it a little more nerve-racking because we gave them basically 190 points for not being here," said Towson State coach Dick Filbert. "But we focused all week long on being two teams together as one and we were determined not to let those Governor's Cups go down to Tobacco Road for a year."

Towson State and Maryland each received a silver cup, which will be displayed at the schools until next year's competition in North Carolina.

"We've been opponents with Maryland so long, and this really brought the two teams together," said Shanley, a junior from Virginia Beach, Va. "Hopefully, we can go down to UNC next year and keep that cup right here in Maryland."

The Terps held up their end of the bargain by out-scoring the Tar Heels, 188.425-188.075. Sophomore Megyn Byrnes came up big for Maryland, finishing fourth on the uneven bars and fifth in the vault and all-around. Alexis Moran, a sophomore at Maryland, helped the cause by taking first on the bars (9.775) and tied for fifth on the balance beam (9.550).

"I knew it was going to take an effort on our part to at least pull our weight," said Nelligan. "I didn't want to come in here and not do well and have Towson carry us or come up a little short."

Towson State claimed first, second and third in the all-around competition with Shanley winning it with a score of 38.725. She was followed by Katherine Creswell (38.375) and freshman star Liane Williams (38.325). Williams, who entered the meet as the Tigers' top performer, claimed first on the vault -- an event she set a Towson State record in two weeks ago with a score of 9.925 -- was first in the floor exercise and was tied for sixth with Creswell on the bars.

The Tigers' Pam Johnson took third on the vault and Sari Lehmuskallio, who missed the first three meets of the season because of mononucleosis, finished sixth in the floor in her season debut.

The Terps got some help from freshman Christine Holcombe (seventh all-around) and senior Marisa DiNatale (second on balance beam, fourth on floor).

"This is such a unique concept that we were looking forward to joining forces with a team that is normally one of our biggest rivals [N.C. State]," said Tar Heels coach Derek Galvin. "I wish they could have been here."

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