Gymnastics Opens 2011 Season On Sunday Afternoon
Jan. 16, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC - The George Washington University gymnastics team opens their 2011 campaign on Sunday afternoon as they host the annual Lindsey Ferris/GW Invitational at the Charles E. Smith Center. The Colonials welcome East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) rivals North Carolina and Rutgers in addition to East Coast Athletic Conference members Temple, Cornell, William & Mary and the University of Pennsylvania.
The meet will be shown via live video streaming on GW All-Access
2011 Season Outlook
The 2011 George Washington Women's Gymnastics team features a trio of talented upperclassmen in addition to four returning performers and a massive incoming class of seven freshmen. The combination of returning gymnasts and incoming athletes is a promising sign for head coach Margie Foster-Cunningham, as she begins her 26th season at the helm of the program.
"This team has a bright future. We are more talented than ever and have a team that is ready to meet the challenges ahead this year" said Foster-Cunningham. "They have all worked hard this summer to raise the level of difficulty on all events. We are looking forward to a successful season."
The squad is led by lone senior Leslie Delima, who was voted team MVP at the conclusion of last season. She has competed in every meet during her career and already owns two school records. She looks to build on her amazing career in her final year of eligibility. Last season she earned First Team All-EAGL honors on the floor exercise and Second Team All-EAGL on All-Around while qualifying for the NCAA Regional for the third consecutive year. "Leslie is an outstanding competitor. She has represented GW with class for the past three seasons and I fully expect her to be a leader for us again this season."
Delima may be the lone senior, but she will be helped as a team leader by juniors Brittany Burnham and Amanda Murphy. Burnham specialized in uneven bars and balance beam in 2010 and performed admirably. She recorded a career-high score of 9.475 on the bars at the EAGL Championship and also tied her career-high on the beam with a score of 9.725 against Kent State. "Brittany was elected co-captain this year as a junior. This is a great honor, it shows she is well-respected by her teammates for her excellence in the classroom as well as her incredible work ethic in the gym".
Murphy continued to impress in her sophomore campaign as she recorded 12 routines of 9.700 or better, including a career-high of 9.725 on uneven bars against Towson. She looks to the NCAA Championships to represent GW, as she did in her freshman season. "Amanda will be a strong and steady competitor for us this year. Vault appears to be her strongest event but she should compete in the All-Around for us this season"
Also returning for the Colonials are sophomores Kayla Carto and Stephanie Stoicovy, both of whom saw action in their freshmen campaigns due to injuries on the roster. They both took advantage of the opportunity, as Carto qualified for the NCAA Morgantown Regional after an impressive debut season at Foggy Bottom. She also was named to the EAGL Second Team All-Tournament for both the beam and all-around. Stoicovy also delivered in her debut season as she competed in all 13 regular season meets, highlighted by a 9.800 score in the floor exercise against Kent State. With a year of experience, both Carto and Stoicovy should continue to make strides in their skill and ability in 2011.
Rounding out the returning gymnasts are redshirt sophomore assistant captain Monique Blount and sophomore Nefertiti Roy. Blount has battled back from two injury plagued seasons but is fully recovered and healthy for the 2011 season. "Monique is a beautiful athlete. We are thrilled that she is healthy and ready to compete for the Colonials this season. She is going to add an element of excitement to our line and will be one to watch this upcoming season." Roy competed in the Lindsey Ferris Invitational last year, recording a score of 9.300 on the vault and is expected contribute in 2011.
Joining the established upperclassmen is a deep and talented incoming class of seven freshmen. Leading the freshmen class of 2014 is standout Betsy Zander, a four-time Level 10 Regional competitor and a three-time JO National Qualifier for Region VII. "Betsy is a dynamo. She is fun to watch because she attacks her routines with confidence. We are looking for her to be a contributor on all events."
She is joined by Kiera Kenney, who was a 2009 Level 10 National Team member and three-time Level 9 National Qualifier. She will add depth and consistency on all events. Taylor Henderson also figures to contribute in her debut season at GW. "Taylor will be competing on three events for us (vault, bars, and floor); she is a dynamic performer with the ability to score very well." Tara Rosenberg, an all-state performer in New Jersey, Brittany Doran, Sara Halliburton, and Katrina Hufnagel complete the freshmen class.
The Colonials will open the 2011 season on January 16th at the 5th annual Lindsey Ferris Invite at the fully renovated Charles E. Smith Center when they play host to North Carolina, Rutgers, Temple, William & Mary, Penn and Cornell. They will then hit the road for a three meet stretch beginning with a visit to Akron, OH to face Kent State and BYU on January 21st. The following week the Colonials will visit Towson for a head to head meet on January 29th, followed by a trip to Raleigh, NC to take on NC State and Iowa State on February 4th.
GW will return home to Foggy Bottom on February 13th, hosting William & Mary at the annual Brownie/Girl Scout Meet, before embarking on a difficult three meet road trip. First up is a tri-meet in Morgantown, WV with Florida, New Hampshire and host West Virginia on February 20th. The following week, February 27th they will visit NC State for a heads up meet. Then the Colonials visit Wildcat country, as they travel to Lexington, KY to take on Bowling Green, Bridgeport and host Kentucky. On March 11th the Colonials will return to the Smith Center to host the annual "Pink Meet", welcoming in Maryland for a head to head meet. Just two days later they will hit the road again for a tri-meet at Maryland with UNC and Kentucky.
The George Washington University will host the premiere event and highlight of the 2011 season when they host the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Championships on March 19th at the fully renovated Charles E. Smith Center. The Colonials will welcome fellow league members UNC, NC State, Rutgers, Maryland, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. "We have set high goals for our team for the 2011 season. We are excited about hosting the EAGL Championships for the first time and want to qualify for the NCAA Regional Championships as a team this year".