West Chester University’s women’s gymnastics team finished in a tie for second place with Southern Connecticut State University at the 31st annual ECAC Division II Championships Sat., March 22 inside Sturzebecker Health Science Center.
The ECAC Division II conference consists of three schools: West Chester University, Southern Connecticut State University, and Bridgeport University. Bridgeport University captured its sixth straight and 17th overall championship with a team score of 192.875. WCU and SCSU shared second place with identical team scores of 190.250. This marks the first time the Golden Rams placed second at the championships since joining the ECAC Division II field.
Three Lady Rams have been honored with end of the year ECAC awards. Freshman Majesta Valentine was named ECAC Rookie of the Year. Five times throughout the year Valentine was named Rookie of the Week by the league office. Along with this prestigious honor, Valentine finished second in the all-around competition with a 38.375, first on the balance beam scoring a 9.750, and placed third on the floor exercise (9.775) and vault (9.750).
Senior Emily Seigel was named ECAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Seigel has maintained a 3.833 cumulative GPA in her time here at West Chester University. She will graduate in May with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Literacy. At the ECAC championships on Saturday, Seigel positively completed her final home meet at West Chester. She placed sixth on beam with a 9.675 and led the Lady Rams to the top score with a 47.900. Seigel’s 9.575 on the uneven bars was good for seventh place on the event.
Sophomore Meghan Brannon earned the title of Specialist of the Year for her performance on the uneven bars, where she averaged a 9.64 on the season. Brannon has proven to be extremely consistent and reliable for the Golden Rams on the uneven bars.
The championships were an overall team effort. WCU Gymnastics topped the 48-point plateau for the fourth time this season on the floor exercise. Behind Valentine, senior Paige Griffin finished in a sixth place tie with a score of 9.725, Emily Harrison scored a 9.575, Stephanie Plaugher had a 9.55, and Kirsten Torres and Seigel each scored a 9.525.
WCU finished out their ECAC championships on the balance beam. The team had a strong performance that helped them capture the tie for second place in the team competition. Lindsay Knapp was fifth with a 9.75, Cecelia Lorenzen scored a 9.4, and Melissa Prisco added a 9.375.
After an excellent end of the season championship, the Rams will be sending five gymnasts to Collegiate Nationals on April 12th at Brown University. Brannon qualified on the uneven bars, Knapp qualified on the balance beam, freshman Selena Swanger qualified on the vault, Seigel will be competing on the uneven bars and balance beam, and lastly Valentine will compete in the all around competition.
Lauren Bilenki is a third-year student majoring in accounting and finance. She can be reached at LB759145@wcupa.edu