Today: Apr 23, 2024

Gymnastics place fourth in Gymnastics East Conference

Avery Martin- Contributor

The Owls gymnastics team took fourth place in the Gymnastics East Conference, GEC, Championships on March 23. 

It is the best finish the Owls have had since joining the conference. They were beaten only by Penn State University, Yale University and Brown University.  

Individually, several gymnasts stood out with five top-ten finishes. Just three days prior, gymnasts Jayci Jordan, a senior, and Libby Allen, Lexi Bracher, juniors, were named to the All-GEC Second Team. Gigi Mastellone, a freshman, was named to the All-GEC First Team.  

Mastellone said, “We pushed through everything, and we’ve all worked really hard. And when we got there, it was like all our hard work paid off. It was great.” 

In the first session of the competition, the Owls had the highest team score against Cornell University, the University of Bridgeport and the College of William & Mary. 

Head Coach Byron Knox said, “It was actually a very good competition for us. We went in with the goal of trying to win our session. Even though we had some errors, we still came out on top.” 

The gymnasts who scored the highest and led the team were Mastellone and Jordan, who tied for third on the uneven bars. The team score in that event was 48.275. 

“The GEC Championships were like a dream almost because it was my first ever one, so it was so exciting,” Mastellone said. “Especially because we were all as a team and everything, and it is the end of the year, and we all had a really good season.” 

On the vault, Sophia Ruecker, a freshman, tied for seventh with a career-high score of 9.775. Brianna Dorr, a junior, and Ava Kelly, a sophomore, tied together in 18th place with a score of 9.700. The team recorded a score of 48.500. 

On the balance beam, Angel Lee, a junior, came in fourth with a score of 9.850. It was a team best and season high for Lee. Gabriella Dinisoe, a freshman, finished 11th with a 9.800 score. The team finished the beam with a score of 48.275. 

The best apparatus for the team was the floor exercise. There, they finished with a 48.850 score, which was their highest of the day. Allen came in a third-place tie with a score of 9.875. Kelly finished 16th with a score of 9.800. 

Knox said the team has worked especially hard on the floor.  

“It came at an opportune time because we finished the competition on floor. Had we not done a good job there, we would not have won our session,” Knox said. 

The historic results for the team have given them a boost of confidence and momentum as they prepare for the two remaining meets this season.  

Jordan said, “I think it definitely gives us some confidence as individuals and for next year as well.” 

The Owls are back in action in West Chester, Pennsylvania on April 10 for the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships. 

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