Women's Gymnastics Opens 2010 With GW/Lindsey Ferris Invitational
Jan. 16, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC - The George Washington University gymnastics team will kick off the 2010 season Sunday, January 17, when it hosts the GW/Lindsey Ferris Invitational at 1:00 pm at Charles E. Smith Center. Five other teams are slated to compete against the Colonials including East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) rival North Carolina, as well as ECAC members Cornell, Temple, William & Mary and Penn.
Head Coach Margie Foster-Cunningham enters this season with 456 head-to-head victories, all at GW. Those wins are the most achieved by any coach while at GW. Foster-Cunningham's Colonials finished 6th at last year's EAGL Championships. The Colonials will be led by junior Leslie Delima, who received All-EAGL honors on both floor and all-around in 2009. Sophomore Amanda Murphy is also a returning All-Conference performer as she was named second-team All-EAGL in the all-around. Senior Megan Quinn rounds out the All-Conference performers on the Colonials roster, as she earned second-team honors on floor in 2008.
The meet will be shown via live video streaming on GW All-Access.
2010 Season Outlook
The George Washington Women's Gymnastics team ended 2009 with a lot of uncertainty, but the upcoming season features a quintet of freshmen, full of potential, along with the seven returning performers, and head coach Margie Foster-Cunningham sees 2010 as a year filled with considerable promise for the Colonials.
"We had a lot of rotation last season, with a lot of girls filling a variety of roles," Foster-Cunningham said. "This season we should have a tremendous amount of stability with four to five girls in the all-around, and others filling defined roles to balance our team. It always is and will be our goal to qualify for NCAA Regional competition as a team, and I feel we have a young and talented group getting ready for the 2010 season."
Gone are the leadership and stellar performances of Gillian Coleman, Kristen Simpson, Erin Quigg and Bree Plotsker, but many returning Colonials are looking to step into expanded leadership roles. Senior Lindsay Tom returns this season from ankle surgery to team up with senior Megan Quinn as team captains for the upcoming 2010 campaign.
They will join 2009 standouts Amanda Murphy and Leslie Delima, both of whom qualified for NCAA Regional competition last season. Senior Danielle Parretti and sophomore Brittany Burnham complete the returning squad, bolstered by five incoming freshmen.
Redshirt freshman Monique Blount, who sat out last season, injured her ACL and will miss her second straight season. She is on track for a full recovery and is scheduled to be in uniform for the start of the 2011 season.
Competing for the Colonials along with the returners are five promising freshmen who have already impressed Foster-Cunningham in fall practices. With the injury to Blount, Foster-Cunningham has already penciled newcomers Kayla Carto and Stephanie Stoicovy into all-around spots starting with the season-opener.
Carto, a native of Davison, MI, was a three-time Level 10 regional qualifier and a Level 9 Eastern Nationals qualifier while competing for AGA Gymnastics in Flint, MI. Stoicovy, a native of Erie, PA, competed twice in Junior Nationals as a Level 10 gymnast and competed for the Lakettes Gymnastics Academy from 2004-2009. Both freshmen are anticipated to make instant impacts for the Colonials in the all-around.
Delima, Quinn, and Murphy comprise the remaining three all-arounders in 2010. This trio competed in every meet for the Colonials in 2009, and Foster-Cunningham will look for similar consistency in 2010. Quinn will add a vault routine in 2010 for her senior season and will compete in that event for the first time since she arrived on Foggy Bottom.
Delima returns for her junior campaign after being named All-EAGL in the all-around and floor exercise during her sophomore season. She also was a qualifier to the NCAA Southeastern Regional as an individual and will return to the all-around in 2010. Delima has already placed herself firmly in the George Washington record book in just two seasons after a 9.850 on balance beam during her freshman season and a 9.875 on floor last season.
Murphy immediately made her presence felt during her first season in Washington, DC, as the freshman from The Woodlands, TX, competed in every meet and also was a NCAA Southeastern Regional individual qualifier. She had 13 routines that were scored a 9.700 or better. She will look to take on an even larger role as one of the mainstays for George Washington gymnastics in the 2010 season.
Tom, Parretti and Burnham will also play key roles this season for the squad and will be counted on for contributions. Parretti is set to take on a load that includes all the events, with the exception of uneven bars, after only competing on beam twice last season. Tom will be a beam specialist after sitting out last season and will look to further boost the Colonials in that event. Burnham stepped in last season when injuries hit George Washington toward the end of the season on beam and will add an uneven bar routine for 2010.
The remaining three freshmen, Allison Mitchell, Brittany Garcia and Nefertiti Roy, will push the Colonials all season as they look to reach their goal of being a team qualifier to NCAA Regional competition.
"There is a lot of great energy in practice, and everyone is very excited," Foster-Cunningham said. "There is great chemistry with this team, and everyone is ready to step up and take the next step this season. We will look for a higher finish in the final standing when we go to New Hampshire for the EAGL Championship meet and will look to progress as a unit and work hard every day."
Those challenges will not come easily, though, for the Colonials, as the team faces a tough 2010 schedule. There are eight scheduled road meets and four home meets at the Charles E. Smith Center.
The road trips are to West Virginia, NC State, Kent State, Maryland, and Pittsburgh, as well as Southeastern Conference competitor Kentucky. The Colonials also will take on the University of Pittsburgh in two meets and will host the Lindsey Ferris Invite on Sunday, Jan. 17.
The home dates include a visit by NC State on Sunday, Feb. 14, William & Mary and New Hampshire on Sunday, March 7, and a "senior night" meet against Towson on Wednesday, March 17. This meet will honor the three departing seniors, Lindsay Tom, Megan Quinn and Danielle Parretti.