The West Chester University gymnastics team (3-0) started their season Tues, Jan. 14 with a big win over Ursinus College, 186.75-179.4. Majesta Valentine, a freshman from Wilmington, Del., debuted strong performances on both the balance beam and floor exercise in her first ever college gymnastics competition. She posted a strong 9.6 on the beam, earning a second place finish on that event, along with a 9.625 on the floor exercise where she tied for first place. Lindsay Knapp, a sophomore for the Golden Rams, also had a strong performance on the balance beam. Knapp took first place on this event with a score of 9.625.
The Rams were able to claim the top spots on three out of four events. On the vault, junior Melissa Prisco took the win with a 9.475. Freshman Selena Swanger had a strong showing at her first meet when she placed second on the vault with a 9.425.
On the uneven bars, senior Emily Seigel won the event with a huge score of 9.625. West Chester displayed the team’s great depth by having Meghan Brannon, Valentine, and Paige Griffin take third, fourth, and fifth respectively on the uneven bars.
Following a successful win at the team’s first meet of the season, the Golden Rams competed in their tri-meet home opener and second meet of the year on Sat, Jan. 18, 2014 against SUNY Cortland and Rhode Island College.
The Lady Rams continued to show their strength this past weekend by posting a new school record on the balance beam (47.925). “I was a little worried about the beam after a shaky start in our first meet of the season, but there were zero counting falls. It was a solid effort all the way around,” sixth-year head coach Barbara Cordova said.
All five girls posted a score of 9.5 or higher. The record-breaking line-up included Prisco, Alyssa Hult, Cecelia Lorenzen, Seigel, Knapp, and Valentine. Valentine won the beam with a big score of 9.775. Lorenzen had a solid routine scoring a 9.575 and placed second.
The balance beam was not the only event that West Chester performed well on. On vault, the girls showed their strength by placing Prisco in second with a 9.5, Valentine in third with a 9.475, and Swanger in forth, also with a 9.475.
Again, Seigel took the top spot on the uneven bars with a score of 9.675. Behind Seigel were teammates Brannon (9.475) and Griffin (9.475). To wrap up Saturday evening’s competition, the Golden Rams had a crowd-pleasing floor exercise rotation. Valentine won the event with an outstanding 9.825. She also finished the meet with a winning all-around score of 37.425.
“This was a whole team effort today,” said Cordova. “We made a few minor mistakes on the bars, so we needed to do well in the other events, and I think we did that.”
The West Chester Woman’s gymnastics team will be traveling to Towson University on Sat, Jan. 25 to face Southern Connecticut State University, Centenary College, and Towson in a quad meet.
Lauren Bilenki is a third-year student majoring in accounting and finance. She can be reached at LB759145@wcupa.edu