PHILADELPHIA - Following a stellar performance at the ECAC Championships that resulted in an Individual All-Around Championship, Dana Bonincontri has been selected as of one of five All-Around Gymnasts who will be competing at the Ann Arbor Regional in Michigan on Saturday, April 2.
To qualify for Regionals, the top 36 teams nationwide were selected, with each of these teams being able to have its full rotation of gymnasts compete at the regional. After those gymnasts from the teams that had been selected to compete at the regional were removed from the process, five additional gymnasts were selected to compete as an All-Around individual gymnast alongside these teams. In addition to the All-Around competitors, four event specialists, one for each of the four events, were selected to compete and will only participate in that one event.
Stanford, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa State, Minnesota, and Kent State are the six teams that will be competing at the Ann Arbor Regional. Alongside Bonincontri, Luisa Leal-Restrepo of Rutgers, Monica Mesalles of Bridgeport, Emily Lutfey of Brown, and Jenna Zito of Rutgers will also be competing in the All-Around in the same situation as Bonincontri. There is also hope for Penn's Kirsten Strausbaugh, who was selected as the alternate to the All-Around group. Therefore, if any gymnast is unable to compete for whatever reason, Strausbaugh would then be able to compete along with her teammate Bonincontri.
The top-two teams from each regional will advance their squads to the National Championships, along with any individual event winners, who are not All-Around gymnasts or on a team that finished first or second. In order for Bonincontri to advance, she will need to place first or second out of all of the All-Around gymnasts who are not on the top-two teams.
Bonincontri has been the most consistent gymnast in the Quaker's rotation all season long. At this past weekend's ECAC Gymnastics Championships, she was named ECAC Athlete of the Year, following a career day in which she took first place in the All-Around. Bonincontri has also been named ECAC Gymnast of the Week four times this season. She has won the All-Around five times when she was entered in all four events. In the nine times she competed in the All-Around, she only finished out of the top-three once this season. That seventh place result came in a meet back in January. The Quaker's sophomore is definitely peaking at the right time of the season as she has won the All-Around in her last three outings and all five of her season wins have come in the past seven meets.
Bonincontri will have two full weeks to prepare for the competition before heading off to Michigan. The last Penn gymnast to qualify for the NCAA Regional was Jordan Brewer, who was also selected to compete in the All-Around during the 2009 season.