No. 26 GW finishes sixth at regionals, misses NCAAs

The GW women’s gymnastics team ended one of its best seasons in school history Saturday at the NCAA Region Six competition at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga. The Colonials, who entered ranking 26th nationally, placed sixth in the competition.

The regional meet featured some of the best competition from around the country. GW matched up with schools such as No. 12 Maryland and No. 16 Towson University. The University of Georgia and Brigham Young University topped the meet and earned spots in the upcoming NCAA Championships in Boise, Idaho. Georgia won with a score of 196.725. BYU was second at 194.700, Towson was third (194.325), Maryland was fourth (193.775), and North Carolina State University finished fifth with a 193.475. GW finished sixth with a score of 191.650, its third-lowest mark this season.

The Colonials lost 192.400-189.550 at N.C. State to begin the season and has lost to the Wolfpack five times in the last two years. GW finished the season 2-1 against Towson and 1-2 against Maryland.

The Colonials, as a team, placed third in the floor exercise with a 48.850. Sophomore Devin McCalla, who completed the all-around with a score of 38.975, finished, unofficially, fifth in the region. Junior Darden Wilee also competed in the all-around and finished with a score of 38.150.

The women were left disappointed in their last-place finish. Coming off their third consecutive Atlantic 10 Conference title and a 21-11 season, the Colonials said they hoped their success would carry all the way into the NCAA Championships. As a result of its sixth-place finish, the team fell short of this year’s goal.

We didn’t do as well as we hoped to, but we really did have a great year, said senior Erica Lewy. We broke school records and accomplished almost all of our goals.

Lewy, in her final year at GW, left a tremendous impact on the team, said Coach Margie Foster-Cunningham. Foster-Cunningham said she believes Lewy is one of the best captains the team has ever seen.

Erica brings a lot to the team’s attitude, she said. She asks the girls, `What do we need to work on, and how are we going to get there?’ She is a source of motivation for the girls.

Foster-Cunningham said she is looking forward to next year’s season. She said she thinks the young team now has more experience under its belt and next year will come out on top.

The team did make excellent strides this year. GW captured another A-10 Championship with a record team score of 195.675. The Colonials also won the six-team GW Invitational in late January, a strong showing after the loss at N.C. State. GW also won the Towson Invitational. The consistent excellence of McCalla will leave the program something to build on for the next two years.

This is an extraordinary group of goal-oriented women, and they are just proud to represent George Washington, Foster-Cunningham said. The women look forward to next year as another accomplished record-breaking season.

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