In their final meet of the 2008-2009 season, West Chester University gymnastics placed third at the 2009 ECAC Division II Championships, which were held in New Haven, Connecticut on Saturday March 21. The championships were hosted by Southern Connecticut State University, who the Golden Rams saw two other times this season.The University of Bridgeport finished the meet in first place with a score of 191.650 while hosts SCSU came in second with a 187.975. West Chester rounded out the top three with a 178.100.
Bridgeport’s Lorraine Galow was the all-around champion, finishing with a score of 38.750. Last year’s all-around champion, Justine Basley from Southern Connecticut State University, was 0.525 points away from a repeat performance, placing second with a score of 38.225.
Although she did not repeat as the all-around champion, Justine Basley did take home the first place title on the uneven bars for the second year in a row. Breanna Collins (UB) was the winner of the floor exercise for the second year, making her and Basley the only repeat winners of the afternoon.
Alli Aquila fell just shy of a medal placing fourth in the all-around performance. Her scores in all four events were above a 9.000 to give her a final of 36.750.
Consistency is something that has been an important aspect of the team’s score all year. At their last home meet against Wilson, the team excelled on the balance beam, but didn’t give their best showing on the uneven bars. At the Championships, the Golden Rams had their best performance of the season on the uneven bars scoring a 44.300.
With a team mostly comprised of new faces, Coach Barbara Cordova, a first year as well, looks forward to what the team has in the future. There are no graduating seniors so the team will get the opportunity to continue to work together next year.
In retrospect of their season, Coach Cordova said, “I am very proud of the girl’s accomplishments this year. They worked hard and have improved very much since last year. I would like to say there are many girls who don’t score the top scores of the team, but have given consistent performances throughout the year that have helped their team’s overall performance. Juniors Stephanie Clark and Alyssa Driscoll are two of those competitors who come to mind.”
Based on their improvement from the year before, the team hopes to continue their upward trend and carry their momentum into next season. The gymnasts highest score of the season was at their last meet before the championships against Brown, where they posted a 179.400.
Note: Freshman Alli Aquila is waiting to hear if she qualifies to compete in Nationals. The National competition is in New Haven, Connecticut on April 9.
Amy Festa is a second-year student majoring in English with a minor in Journalism. She can be reached at AF649219@wcupa.edu.