Gymnastics’ 2021 schedule features fewer meets, two at Smith Center

Media Credit: File Photo by Dean Whitelaw | Staff Photographer

Nearly all of the team's 16 members last year are returning to compete this year.

Gymnastics will kick off the 2021 season Sunday, the team announced in a schedule release Tuesday.

Gymnasts will compete at seven meets this season – down from their usual 10-plus competitions – and will host two in the Smith Center. The Colonials were picked to finish third in the East Atlantic Gymnastic League preseason poll and were tabbed No. 35 in the Women’s College Gymnastics Association preseason poll.

Among EAGL teams, GW nabbed 46 points, including two first place votes. The squad finished just behind 2020-Champion NC State and Pittsburgh, who collected 59 and 49 points, respectively. Among WCGA voting, the squad accumulated 160 points and were the third EAGL team to appear among the top 35 teams in the nation.

After its 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 14 of the team’s 16 members are returning for the 2021 campaign. Graduate student Cydney Crasa, senior Anna Warhol and senior Hannah Cohen will captain the team for head coach Margie Foster-Cunningham’s 36th season helming the program.

Crasa is entering her fifth season with the program and coming off Second Team All-EAGL honors in vault and First Team All-EAGL honors on floor in 2020. Warhol tabbed Second Team All-EAGL recognition in both bars and on floor, while Cohen notched First Team All-EAGL honors on beam.

Junior Deja Chambliss, who ended last season with an all-around crown at the Senior Day meet, nabbed spots on the All-EAGL First Team on vault and All-EAGL Second Team on bars.

The team also added four freshmen to the mix to round out the 18-member squad. Every team member was back in D.C. for the fall semester, giving the squad the opportunity to begin practicing for the upcoming season, Foster-Cunningham said in an October interview.

The Colonials were set to open the season at Pittsburgh Jan. 24, but the team chose not to travel for the competition.

“We just didn’t have enough time to appropriately prepare physically and mentally for the rigor of competition,” athletic department spokesperson Brian Sereno said in an email.

GW will instead open the season Sunday at North Carolina to take on the Tar Heels and West Virginia, which is a change from the early January start time of previous seasons. The team will then return to the Smith Center Feb. 7 for its first home meet against New Hampshire. Three straight away meets at Towson, NC State and Temple will take the team into March.

GW will face Towson – for the second and third time that season – for its final two meets of the year. The Colonials will host the Tigers March 7 for senior day and then travel to Towson, Maryland, to take on the Tigers, New Hampshire and Temple in the final competition of the regular season.

Competition against North Carolina and West Virginia begins Sunday at 2 p.m.

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