The West Chester University gymnastics team (1-1) started their season Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 with a loss over Ursinus College 188.1-187.55. Majesta Valentine, a sophomore from Wilmington, Del., picked up right where she left off following a successful freshman season. The USAG All-American won the uneven bars with a strong 9.55 and tied for first on vault with her 9.65 performance. Her stellar performances on both the balance beam and floor exercise landed her in the runner-up position. Valentine’s 9.525 on the balance beam was just 0.1 behind the winner. Selena Swanger, a sophomore for the Golden Rams, also had an impressive performance in the season opener, registering a 37.250 all-around placing second behind teammate Valentine in the all-around competition. Swanger also placed fourth on bars behind Valentine with an excellent 9.35 performance.
Freshman Rachel Blair also had a strong performance in her West Chester debut. Blair showed her strength on the vault where she placed fourth with a 9.575 performance. Freshman teammate Meghan Chan scored a 9.15 on the balance beam to place fourth in her West Chester debut as well.
Junior teammates Lindsay Knapp and Meghan Brannon each tied for fifth on the uneven bars with a 9.175.
The Rams were able to display their team’s great depth on the floor exercise with all six girls on the line-up, posting 10.0 start values and scores all above the 9.5 mark. This is the first time in seven seasons of coaching that head coach Barbara Cordova’s entire floor line-up posted 10.0 start values.
Following an unfortunate loss at the teams’ first meet of the season, the Golden Rams continued its season-opening road trip and second meet of the year on Saturday, Jan. 17, against SUNY Cortland in a dual meet in upstate New York.
The Lady Rams continued to show their strength as a team this past weekend by posting a 188.0-185.225 victory over SUNY Cortland in a non-league women’s gymnastics meet. Despite a shaky start in the Rams’ first meet of the season, it was a solid team effort all the way around and West Chester was able to eliminate the number of counting falls.
Valentine had another outstanding performance claiming the top spot on vault with a strong score of 9.625. Teammate Alyssa Hult, a junior from Fremont, NH., also had a quality outing placing first on the uneven bars with a 9.475.
Behind Valentine on the vault was senior teammate Melissa Prisco from Old Bridge, NJ. Prisco showed her strength on the event scoring a 9.475 to place third. Sophomore teammate Swanger, from Gettysburg, Pa., posted the highest all-around score with a career-high 37.800. She topped teammate Valentine, who registered a 37.275.
Meghan Chan, a freshman from Northvale, NJ, was runner-up on the beam with a strong 9.65 performance. Swanger tied for third with a 9.625 as well.
The Golden Rams’ depth continued to shine on the floor exercise where they took third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place. The area of greatest improvement for the Lady Rams from their first meet was on the balance beam where West Chester cleaned up their performances and eliminated the number of counting falls.
The West Chester University women’s gymnastics team will have traveled to Towson University on Sunday Jan 25 to face The College of William & Mary, University of North Carolina, and Towson in a quad meet. Check back for next week’s issue to see how they did!
Lauren Bilenki is a fourth-year student majoring in accounting and finance. She can be reached at LB759145@wcupa.edu