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The 2012 season was one to remember for the gymnastics team. Coming together
for one final time before breaking for the summer, the team took the time to
relive the past season's accomplishment at the year-end banquet. In addition to
celebrating the team's success, six individuals were honored for their
contributions to the triumphant season.
Kirsten Strausbaugh was named the team's most valuable
gymnast. The junior was one of Penn's two representatives at the NCAA Regional in
the all-around. In addition to a career high performance at the regional meet,
Strausbaugh was named a first-team USAG All-American in the all-around, uneven
bars and floor exercise. She also took home second-team honors on the balance
beam. A team captain, she was the winner of the uneven bars and floor exercise
at the ECAC Championships, while sharing top honors on floor at the Ivy
Classic. Her all-around score at the USAG Championships was the 12th-best in
program history, while her winning performances on bars and floor were the
seventh and 11th-best performances in program history, respectively.
Fellow classmate and NCAA Regional qualifier Dana Bonincontri was named the team's most consistent gymnast. The 2012 season was
the second straight year that Bonincontri qualified for the NCAA Regional meet.
In her third season at Penn, she rewrote the record book by posting three of
the top-four all-around scores in program history. She also finished with the best and
second-best vault scores in program history, while also posting the third and
fifth-best uneven bars routines in program history. Bonincontri was a
first-team USAG All-American in all four events, plus the all-around, and finished
first-team All-ECAC in all-around and vault with second-team performances on
beam and floor. At the Ivy Classic, she won the all-around, uneven bars and
Freshman Amber Woo was named the team's Rookie of the Year. Woo
competed as an all-around gymnast in 10 of Penn's meets this season. Three
times this year she was named the ECAC Rookie of the Week. At the ECAC
Championships, Woo took home top honors on the balance beam to earn first-team
All-ECAC honors. She was also a second-team All-ECAC performer in the
all-around and floor exercise. She won her first collegiate all-around title
during the meet with Yale.
Laura DiPaolo was the recipient of the Coaches' Choice award.
A senior, DiPaolo competed in every meet on the uneven bars and all but one
meet on vault. In the last weekend of her collegiate career, she earned
second-team USAG All-American honors on both of her events. She was also a
second-team All-ECAC performer on vault. Twice she was named ECAC Specialist of
the Week in 2012 to go along with one coaches' choice award by the conference.
A standout in the classroom as well, DiPaolo was named to the ECAC and USAG
All-Academic teams as well.
Fellow senior Rebecca Engberg was the Benjamin Franklin
award winner for the most inspirational gymnast. She was limited to just one
meet this season, but posted a sixth-place finish on floor and seventh-place
finish on the uneven bars during Senior Night. Engberg competed as an
all-around gymnast as freshman before injuries forced her to specialize in
particular events. She was also an ECAC and USAG All-Academic Team member.
Freshman Makeda Constable was named the team's Most Improved
Gymnast. She competed on the uneven bars and balance beam in every meet, along
with the floor exercise in all but one. Finishing her season off a strong note,
Constable posted a career high on the uneven bars during the final regular
season meet of the season. She broke her career high on the floor at the ECAC
Championships. At ECAC's, the freshman posted top 10 finishes on both the
uneven bars and floor. She finished in the top seven in three of her final four
uneven bars routines of the season.