On March 23, the West Chester University gymnastics team had the biggest meet of their season thus far. The Golden Rams traveled up to Bridgeport, Connecticut for ECAC Division II Championships against the University of Bridgeport and Southern Connecticut State University. In their USAG Division, the Golden Rams were ranked ninth place going into the championship meet. The team knew that they had to move up to the eighth place team in order to qualify as a team for USAG Collegiate Nationals. As underdogs normally do, the girls got the job done. With a second place finish at 2019 ECAC Division II Championships, the West Chester University Gymnastics Team secured their spot as a team to USAG Collegiate Nationals for only the second time since the 1980s. Finishing the meet and finding out that the team had moved up in the rankings and qualified as a team will be a moment that the team will remember forever. The West Chester University Golden Rams scored a 193.200 at ECAC’s, which is the highest score in program history that they have scored at this meet.
Starting off on the balance beam, second year Melanie Wojewoda started the meet beautifully scoring a 9.625. Second year Jessica Meakim followed with a solid 9.675, and fourth year Cassandra Hageman scored a 9.775. Anchor and third year Sarah Boyd scored a 9.800.
Moving onto the floor exercise, the Golden Rams were on fire. First year Brashlyn Johnson started off the event with a 9.725, followed by second year Yolanda Nodarse’s 9.750. Boyd continued the momentum with a 9.625, and first year McKenna Kissinger followed with a 9.700. Finishing up the event, first year Rose Fanara scored a 9.675 followed by Meakim’s 9.850.
Continuing the meet, the Golden Rams had some solid scores. Kissinger led off the event with a 9.475 tying third year Natalie Onderko on the event. Fourth year Lindsay Mathis scored a solid 9.525, followed by Meakim’s 9.675. Johnson finished the event with a 9.575.
Heading into the last event with lots of pressure on their hands, the bar squad finished the meet beautifully. Third year Bella Dorazio led off the event with a 9.450, followed by Meakim’s 9.700. First year Ashley Duke scored a beautiful 9.800, and Nodarse scored a 9.700. Fourth year Myranda Marshall finished the event with a 9.850. About five minutes after Marshall finished her routine, the team found out that they had qualified to nationals — and it’s incredible.
Onto the awards, Meakim finished first place on the floor exercise and second place in the all-around competition. Boyd placed second on the balance beam, and Marshall placed second on the uneven bars. Boyd was also awarded with ECAC Specialist of the Year, and Meakim was named ECAC Scholar Athlete of the Year.
The Golden Rams will head back to Connecticut in two weeks to compete at USAG Collegiate Nationals. Stay tuned for interviews and more information about the meet.
Jessica Meakim is a second-year student majoring in business management. JM883960@wcupa.edu