PHILADELPHIA -Coming off a 13-11 season that saw the Quakers win an Ivy League title, the University of Pennsylvania gymnastics team will begin their 2016 campaign in Washington D.C. at the Lindsey Ferris Invitational on Sunday.
Penn returns 14 gymnasts from last year's championship team, including five seniors. Coach Ceralde has also added seven freshman to the squad for the season. Incuded in the returners are Morgan Venuti, who had the Quakers high score in vault in 2015 with a 9.775, Elyse Shenberger, who had the high score in bars with 9.875, Amber Hu, who had the high in beam 9.850, and Megan Finck who was tops on floor with 9.875.
There will be five teams at this weekend's event: George Washington, North Carolina, Temple, Cornell and Penn. Cornell and Penn are the only two that will begin their seasons with the competition. George Washington is 2-0 and holds the nation's seventh ranking, North Carolina, is 1-0, and Temple is 0-2.
The Colonials opened their 2016 season with a first place finish at last weekend's Little Boston Invitational with a team score of 196.175.
The Tar Heels opened their season at home with a 192.400-189.050 win over William & Mary over the weekend.
The Owls has competed in each of the last two weekends, but fell in both meets to Central Michigan and Kent State. They will compete on Saturday against William and Mary before making the trip to the nation's capital.
The Lindsey Ferris Invitational is named after a former gymnast at George Washington who passed away in 2006.Ferris competed for GW gymnastics for four years before graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in communication in 2001. She then served as a Presidential Administrative Fellow while earning her master's in forensic science in 2003. Following graduation, she became a Special Agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations before her unfortunate passing.