Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

The West Chester women’s gymnastics team finished their regular season with their highest score of the season when they traveled to Penn last Wednesday.The Rams traveled to the Quakers school on St. Patty’s day for their final meet before the ECAC Championships. Although they fell short of the host team, which is a Division I team that won with a score of 189.950, the Rams posted a season high 182.30.

A combined effort of all competitors led to this exceptional West Chester finale, including the performance of senior captain Jenna Ciatto.

“This was such an exciting achievement for the team because we had yet to break the 180 mark at an away meet,” said Ciatto.

The Rams were coming off of a meet over spring break in which the Rams finished in first place, but with a lower than average score of 177.025. Rachel Pearson and Alli Aquila finished in first and second, respectively, in the competition as the Rams topped their hosts, Wilson College.

West Chester also competed two days prior when they traveled to Ursinus and lost with a score of 177.875. The Rams needed a spark in their performance when they traveled to Penn’s campus in Philadelphia.

West Chester started the meet off on the bars, which has continued to be an event in which the Rams struggled throughout the season. However, the Rams were able to start off the meet with the strength and momentum they would need to carry them through.

“Starting on bars is tough because it’s one of the team’s most difficult event,” Ciatto said. “But the girls definitely rose to the challenge.” Amber Miller recorded a season high score of 8.925.

The Rams competed next on the vault where Alli Aquila led the team with a 9.5. All of West Chester’s scores in this event where above nine.

The floor has always been a strong point for West Chester this season, and this meet was no different. Rachel Pearson scored a 9.55 for West Chester, which was also the highest score for West Chester of any of the four events. Again, the counting scores for West Chester were all above nine.

West Chester finished the meet on the beam. The Rams have been trying to improve the number of falls they have on the beam this season. Rachel Pearson started off on the beam for the Rams and scored an exceptionally high mark of 9.425.

“To start off the beam with such a high first score really motivates everyone to want to hit their routine,” Ciatto said. “And it did just that.”

Senior Melissa Filer scored her highest of the season with a 9.425 while sophomore Megan Snyder followed with 9.375, another season high. Jenna Ciatto scored her season high as well with a 9.2.

“Most of the girls competing were able to earn their season high score which is such an exciting moment,” Ciatto said. “The beam total for the day was our highest event total of 46.55. With such a strong effort from all of the girls and the enthusiasm shown during the meet, we were able to break the 182 mark and have the best meet of the year. It was a great competition.”

The strong meet from the gymnasts in the last meet of the season will give West Chester the confidence they will need to compete in the ECAC Championships.

West Chester will compete in the ECAC Championships in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Saturday March 27. Shortly afterwards, they will find out if they will have competitors representing West Chester at the USAG nationals.

Amy Festa is a third-year student majoring in English with a minor in Journalism. She can be reached at AF649219@wcupa.edu.

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