PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania gymnastics team kicks off another season this Sunday, welcoming 12th-ranked Stanford and Bridgeport in a tri-meet beginning at 1 p.m. inside the historic Palestra.
The Quakers will be participating in their first meet of the season, and one of five in the Palestra this year, including the Ivy Classic in February and the USAG Women’s Collegiate National Championships in April.
This weekend Penn will face two tough tests early in the season, with Stanford having competed twice and Bridgeport once, entering the meet on Sunday.
Follow the gymnastics team this Sunday, and all year long, on Twitter – @PennGym.
SCOUTING STANFORD: An NCAA semifinalist a season ago, the No. 12 Cardinal finished fourth in the NorCal Classic with California, UC Davis, San Jose State, and Sacramento State on Jan. 4. They then went on to defeat San Jose State in a dual meet five days later. Stanford is led by freshman Elizabeth Price on vault, senior Rebecca Wing on bars, junior Ivana Hong on beam, and sophomore Hayley Spector on floor.
SCOUTING BRIDGEPORT: The six-time defending USAG women’s collegiate national champion Purple Knights have a busy first weekend of the 2015 season. Competing first on Saturday at Southern Connecticut State, with Brown and Rhode Island, they will then head to Philadelphia to take on the Quakers and Cardinal. Key returnees from a season ago are senior Caitlin Perry, and a strong group of sophomores including Brianna Comport, Rachel DiCarlo, Amber Hill, Christine Liautaud, and Kimberly Stewart.
2015 PENN CAPTAINS: The Quakers are led by two-time captains senior Wynne Levy and senior Kaitlyn Reszkowski. Levy has been a mainstay for Penn on vault during her four years, and has posted a career high of 9.750 on the event. Reszkowski’s main focus has been floor for the Red and Blue, where she has posted a 9.775 twice, the last coming in February of 2014 at the Ivy Classic.
PENN TOP RETURNERS: Penn has five gymnasts returning that put up top scores for them a season ago. Senior Amber Woo posted a 38.550 in the all-around, and senior Wynne Levy scored a 9.700 on vault, while junior Amber Hu recorded a 9.675 on bars. Sophomore Rachel Graham led the Quakers in two events, beam and floor, with a 9.800 and 9.850 respectively. Speaking of Graham, she finished 2014 as Penn’s top individual performer, earning USAG second-team All-America on floor.
QUAKER NEWCOMERS: The Red and Blue have six new faces, from five different states, with the program this year. Freshmen Megan Finck and Alex Hartke are from New York, Kyra Levi from Pennsylvania, Olivia Neistat from Connecticut, Ally Podsednik from Texas, and Emily Shugan from New Jersey.
IVY CLASSIC RETURNS TO PALESTRA: The Ivy Classic returns to Penn, and The Palestra, for the first time since 2011. The last time the four team meet – featuring Brown, Cornell, Yale, and the Quakers – was in Philadelphia, Penn won with a score of 191.950. It was the first of back-to-back Ivy Classic titles for the team.
FIRST TIME HOSTING USAG NATIONALS: For its first time ever Penn will host the 2015 USAG Women’s Collegiate National Championships. The championships date back to 1982, with Bridgeport claiming the last five team titles outright, and a share of the last six. Spanning three days and taking place inThe Palestra,the event will feature eight qualifying teams, along with numerous individuals competing for a USAG title. The Quakers last individual champion was Kirsten Strausbaugh, winning on bars in 2013.