The GW gymnastics team kicks off its season Sunday at the annual GW Invitational. GW has won the event on numerous occasions, including victories in 2000 and 2002. Last year, the Colonials again produced a strong performance but could not out-do eventual winner University of North Carolina. The No. 20 Tarheels will compete in the meet again this weekend.
Although North Carolina will be joined by Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, College of William and Mary and A-10 rival Temple, the Tarheels and the Colonials are regarded as the top teams in the event.
“I think we are going to start off stronger than we did last year,” senior co-captain Rachel Mann said. “We got back from Christmas break a little earlier and we’ve been working hard preparing for this season.”
The Colonials will look to Mann, who finished with the second-highest individual all-around score last year, to lead the way, along with sophomore Heather Kaufman (fifth place in 2003). The Tarheels will rely on sophomore all-American Courtney Bumpers, who in addition to winning the GW Invitational last year became the first Tarheel gymnast to compete in the national championships in 2003.