GW gymnastics takes second at home

The final results were a little misleading at the GW/Lindsey Ferris Invitational Sunday afternoon at Smith Center. While the GW gymnastics team finished second with a score of 190 in a field of six teams, they did not place any individuals in the top three in the floor exercise, beam or uneven parallel bar events.

Freshman Leslie Delima’s personal results and the team’s showing in the vault skyrocketed GW to the second-place result, only 3.7575 points behind the University of North Carolina. Delima finished second in the all-around competition with a score of 38.475, setting both a team and personal record.

It was Delima’s first competition for the Colonials, and her teammates and coach are already touting her as competitor to watch. The Virginia Beach, Va., native was the 2007 all-around state champion, and was named the 2007 Beach District female athlete of the year.

The Colonials’ final vault, beam, bars and floor scores were also second only to the Tar Heels. On the vault, junior Kristen Simpson tied for second, and sophomore Christa Devine took fourth. On the bars, senior tri-captain Gillian Coleman, Delima and Devine tied for ninth with a score of 9.675. Delima and Devine tied for fifth on the balance beam.

Below GW in the standings were Rutgers University (187.625), Cornell University (185.975), Temple (184.900) and College of William & Mary (182.725).

Coleman, who finished fifth overall, said that finishing high up without a lot of top finishers does not reflect poorly on the Colonials. She said performing well as a team shows that the gymnasts have embraced how important teamwork is to the sport. She added that the individual performance is usually the emphasis of club and high school gymnastics, so it is uplifting to see the squad acting as one.

GW head coach Margie Foster-Cunningham said she has no doubt individual performance will pick up, but did see room for improvement.

“The biggest issue was the floor exercise,” Foster-Cunningham said. “We had a lot of falls.”

The Colonials had its lowest scores in that event, with Delima and sophomore Megan Quinn tying for seventh place and Coleman placing eleventh. Seniors Caroline Marckesano and McKenzie Parrack finished in the bottom 15 alongside freshman Kristie Viens, who was competing in her first event for GW. Viens finished 30th in the floor exercise.

The Colonials have had health issues thus far this year, with juniors Erin Quigg and Bree Plotsker both battling injuries. Quigg competed in just the vault, setting a personal record despite her injury and finishing in 34th place. Plotsker struggled, scoring more than one-fourth of a point lower in the bars and more than one-sixth of a point lower in the bars from last year’s meet, when she was completely healthy.

The team next competes at the West VirginiaUniversity Jan. 27. They face a tough schedule on the road, competing against eight schools before their next home meet on Feb. 24, when the Colonials will take on University of Pittsburgh at Smith Center.

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