January 21, 2009

Red Sticks Landing in Capital to Open Season

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The gymnastics team jumped out to a fast start to its 2009 season over the weekend in Washington, D.C., as it placed third at the George Washington/Lindsey Ferris Invitational — posting the best-ever season opening score in school history. The Red finished ahead of ECAC foes Temple, Rutgers and William & Mary — only placing behind nationally-ranked programs North Carolina and George Washington.
“It was great,” said sophomore Irene Leung. “Normally our first meet doesn’t go so well, but this time everyone came together as a team and we were great. Everyone was really happy.”
[img_assist|nid=34262|title=Keep reaching|desc=The gymnastics team opened its season with a third place finish at the GW Invitational.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
After finishing last season on a high note with a second-place finish at the USAG collegiate national championships, the Red was looking to carry over its momentum into this year’s campaign.
“It felt really good to perform so well after ending our season so well last year,” said sophomore Kerri Lavallee. “Everyone did what they needed to do; everyone was really supportive of each other. We were really motivated to start off this season better than last season so we can finish even better. We’re really excited, it was a great start to our season.”
Contrary to past years in which the Red has normally shown signs of rust in opening meets, there were very few poor performances to be had this time around. While nothing was overly spectacular, the Red executed a well-rounded, solid performance, which resulted in the high score of 188.700.
“We had falls,” Leung said. “While we weren’t amazing in any one event, we didn’t bomb any one event either. Our coach was really happy, everyone was really happy. It was the perfect first meet.”
While the Red was excited about its great performance, the team knows that there is plenty of room for improvement.
“It’s so early in the season that our lineup is not set at all,” said Leung. “Over the next few meets the coaches are going to try out different girls on different events to see which ones work the best. Plus, everybody is only going to get stronger, no one is close to reaching their peak yet.”
“We’re going to want to work on our landings in practice,” added Lavallee. “We’ll work on building up some more confidence and basically just trying to make everything look bigger and better.”
Overall, its performance over the weekend is a strong indication of what type of season is in store for the Red.
“It was a huge confidence boost,” Lavallee said. “Not only do we know what we are capable of, but now all of our opponents do too.”

Related Content:
View The Sun’s recent gymnastics coverage.