Gymnastics closes out season with regional run

Media Credit: File Photo by Sabrina Godin

At graduate student Deja Chambliss’ last competition of her collegiate career, she ended with a score of 39.315 in the all-around competition and was named EAGL Gymnast of the Year.

Junior Kendall Whitman and graduate student Deja Chambliss ended their 2023 gymnastics season at the regional stage at the University of Denver March 31.

Whitman scored a 9.925 on floor and tied for third in the overall floor exercise category while Chambliss earned a 39.250 in the all-around competition, placements in the top 16 for their respective events that secured them a spot on the regional stage. The NCAA committee selected the top 12 all-around competitors and top 16 individual event specialists based on national qualifying scores – Chambliss totaled a 39.345 NQS in the all-around, which includes all events, and Whitman totaled a 9.915 NQS on the floor.

“We are proud to represent GW in the postseason,” Chambliss said in an email Wednesday. “GW is a respected team in the gymnastics world, and we were honored to wear that and represent this school to the best of my ability.”

Whitman’s floor routine on the regional stage was her 10th floor routine to reach above a 9.900 mark this semester, tying for third overall in the competition with her score of 9.925 and finishing seventh overall in the Denver Regional. Chambliss earned a 39.250 in the all-around with 9.850 on the vault, 9.675 on bars, 9.850 on the beam and 9.875 on the floor, recording a sixth place finish in the all-around and a fifth place in the vault.

The two gymnasts had significant roles on the team during the past two seasons, leading the team to new heights with nationally ranked routines and returning to the NCAA regionals together for their second straight year. Whitman’s first trip to regionals came last year in Raleigh, North Carolina and the then-sophomore scored a 9.890 on the floor, placing second overall in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League conference on the floor.

At Chambliss’ last competition of her collegiate career, she ended with a score of 39.315 in the all-around competition during last year’s NCAA Raleigh Regionals and was named EAGL Gymnast of the Year. She also qualified for the NCAA Salt Lake City Regionals in her junior year where she earned a 9.825 as an individual competitor on vault tying for second overall on vault with a 9.850 at EAGL Championships.

“Reflecting on my performance in Denver, I am proud to have ended my career on a high note,” Chambliss said in an email. “I went out and hit four on four routines. We talked about how we wanted to go in and just do our jobs and that’s exactly what we did.”

Head Coach Margie Foster-Cunningham said she was proud of Whitman and Chambliss’ respective performances through the season. She said Whitman’s level tumbling passes, which she called the “the most difficult of skills,” were “outstanding” and excited the crowd.

Foster-Cunningham said as Chambliss’ collegiate career comes to a close, her impact on the program has been immense and she was proud of her performance on the regional stage.

“Deja is a beautiful athlete that has represented GW with class for the past four years,” Foster-Cunningham said in an email Wednesday. “She had an excellent day. We are so fortunate to have had her representing us at the national level.”

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