On March 5, the West Chester University gymnastics team (9-11) placed third in a quad meet hosted by the University of Pennsylvania with a 192.950. Finishing first in the competition was Penn State scoring a 196.200, Bridgeport was runner-up with a 193.875, followed by West Chester and then UPenn with a 191.475.
Starting the competition on bars, West Chester scored their second highest bar team score of the season with a 48.35. Top routines on bars were Myranda Marshall, who scored a 9.7, and Meghan Chan, who scored a 9.75.
The Golden Rams scored a 48.675 on the vault. Rachel Blair scored a 9.8 on the event with a near perfect vault, and Lindsey Mathis achieved a 9.7 to help the team beat the team vault record.
Majesta Valentine placed third on the balance beam with a 9.8 and finished in second all-around with a score of 39.25.
On Saturday, March 11, the WCU gymnastics team hosted its last home competition of the regular season and placed first with visiting team Ursinus College 193.675-191.5. This competition also honored the four seniors on the team: Sam Engle, Kristin Torres, Selena Swanger and Valentine.
Valentine placed first in the all-around (39.175) and Swanger placed second (38.600).
Claiming the top spots on vault were Valentine scoring a 9.725, Swanger with a 9.625, and Mathis and Blair tied for third with 9.575.
Tying for first on the uneven bars were Marshall and Valentine both with a 9.75. Mathis tied for fourth with a 9.625.
On the balance beam, Sarah Boyd placed second with a 9.85, followed by Valentine in third with 9.825, and tying for fourth were Chan and Swanger with 9.775.
Similar to vault, the Golden Rams claimed the top spots on the floor exercise as well. In first was Valentine (9.875), followed by Emily Loughery (9.7), and tying for third were Brent and Swanger (9.675).
Swanger earned ECAC Gymnast of the Week for the previous week of March 5, and for the following week she was awarded with ECAC Coaches Choice award. Valentine was also honored that same week with ECAC Gymnast of the week, marking her sixth honor of the season out of the collective 15 honors for the team.
March 18 marked the end of the regular season as West Chester hosted the ECAC Championships in Hollinger Field House with Bridgeport and Southern Connecticut State University.
With a rough start to the competition, Torres and Chan received the high scores for the Golden Rams on the event, both scoring a 9.575. On bars Valentine tied for second with a 9.775, and Marshall tied for fourth with a 9.7. Also receiving a high score on the event was Bella D’Orazio, who scored a 9.65, which immensely helped the team on the event.
Third rotation was beam where the WCU gymnastics team was able to, once again, break the team beam score, scoring a 49.05. This record-breaking line up consisted of Chan (9.775), Rose Wortman (9.775), Hageman (9.8), Swanger (9.85), a new high score on the event for the senior, Boyd (9.85) and Valentine (9.625).
Finishing the event on floor, Valentine took home first place with a score of 9.875, tying with a competitor from Bridgeport. Brent received the next highest score for the team with a 9.8, followed by Hageman and Swanger both with a 9.65.
Swanger placed fourth in the all-around with a 38.45, and Valentine placed second in the all-around with a final score of 39.000.
Valentine also received the ECAC Gymnast of the Year award, while Coach Barbara Cordova received the ECAC Coach of the Year award.
The Golden Rams’ remarkable season landed them in eighth place, out of 13 teams, in the USAG Division, qualifying the team to compete at the USA Gymnastics Women’s Collegiate National Championships in Seattle, Wash. beginning on Thursday, April 6.
The three-day championship event took place at Seattle Pacific University. The event consisted of a practice day, team qualifiers, team finals and event finals.
In previous years, the Golden Rams have sent, at most, 10 individuals to compete at the USAG Collegiate Nationals. The 2016-2017 gymnastics team made history as the first WCU team to qualify for Nationals as a team since 1986.
Meghan Chan is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at MC827361@wcupa.edu.