PHILADELPHIA – Debuting a brand new state-of-the-art practice facility, and new competition space, the University of Pennsylvania gymnastics team saw a variety of new faces earn roles and see success during the 2014 season.
Proudly boasting one of the top training facilities, the Quakers debuted the Nalitt Family Gymnastics Center this past fall, as part of the newly renovated Hutchinson Gymnasium.
The state-of-the-art training facility features space for four balance beams, two vaulting runways, three sets of uneven bars, a trench-channel single bar, the floor exercise and a tumbling strip.
Additionally, the facility boasts loose foam training pits, as well as in-ground rezi pits, to allow athletes to work on elements for all events. Also for home meets this season, the gymnastics program used the new John R. Rockwell Gymnasium, also located in Hutchinson Gymnasium.
After winning back-to-back Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships, the Quakers finished fourth in the 2014 edition of the meet, posting their second best score of the season, 191.275.
Prior to the ECAC meet, Penn finished third in the Ivy Classic, with a 190.150, in February at Brown.
The Red and Blue were victorious in one of the four dual meets they competed in, defeating Southern Connecticut State in the last meet of the regular season, 191.175-189.375.
Penn managed its best score of the season in a dual meet loss at Illinois State, recording a 191.450 team score.
The Quakers finished second twice, in a home quad-meet that featured Temple, SUNY Brockport and SUNY Cortland, and in a tri-meet with Rutgers and West Chester.
Individually, freshman Rachel Graham emerged as a key contributor for Penn, earning USAG Second-team All-American on floor in the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Nationals held in April. The Quakers qualified 10 individuals to the competition, senior Nicki Valenti, juniors Wynne Levy and Amber Woo, along with sophomores Amber Hu and Emily Paterson, and freshmen Kelly Tan and Graham. Three gymnasts, senior Diana Moock, junior Makeda Constable, and sophomore Carissa Lim qualified but did not compete.
Eleven Penn gymnasts set a total of 22 career-high scores in one of the four events during the course of the season.