Gymnastics Heads to ECAC Championships

PHILADELPHIA– Penn travels to William & Mary this weekend for the 2008 ECAC Championships. The Quakers have won the ECAC championship twice (1998 and 2004) and are looking to break Towson’s stranglehold on the team title. The Tigers have won the crown three years in a row. Last season, Penn finished second to Towson – the highest finish by a Quaker squad since winning in ’04.

If the Quakers are to climb back atop the podium, they will need a complete team effort. Senior Kim Chin will sit out the meet due to a knee injury suffered this week, opening spots in the rotation.

One gymnast who will be counted on to step up is Kerri Lutfey. She was named ECAC Coach’s Choice of the Week last week for her performance against Rhode Island last week. Against the Rams, Lutfey posted her season-best on floor with a 9.550. Ankle issues that have limited her tumbling throughout the season have calmed down, allowing her to increase the difficulty levels of her routine.

Similar to Lutfey’s improvement over the course of the season is that of the team in general. Penn’s three highest team scores have come in the last three meets. The Quakers’ best performance of 2008 was in a quad-meet with Temple, N.C. State and ECAC foe Towson. The Red and Blue scored 192.125 team points in that meet, performing most of their routines flawlessly.

A day like that will go a long way towards Penn reclaiming the ECAC title.