Gymnastics Places Third at ECAC Championships

Harrisonburg, Va. - The University of Pennsylvania gymnastics team placed third at the 2005 ECAC Championship held on Saturday at James Madison. The Quakers had a total score of 191.975, their second-highest score of the season, in their final competition of the year. Towson won the event with a 194.525 and the University of Rhode Island placed second with a 192.225.

Said Head Coach Tom Kovic, whose team was the defending champion, "I thought that today went great. It is a very long season and to come into this as the defending champion with the addition of three great teams (Towson, URI and Temple) makes the meet that much more competitive. The team did everything that we asked of them all season and they finished the 2005 season in grand fashion. Team morale is tremendously high. Throughout the meet they kept their composure under tremendous pressure, they were great. They were one of the best and most enjoyable teams that I have coached, with great leadership from the captains and just believing in each other all season."

The Quakers scored a 48.075 on the vault good for fourth place in the event, as well a season high. They also finished fifth onthe uneven bars with a47.700, a third-place47.100 on the balance beam and a season high on the floor with a 49.100, good for first place in the event.

Individually, many members of the Red and Blue shined on the day. On the vault, Laura Bouchelle placed seventh with a season-best 9.700. Leah Moon also placed tied foreleventh with a score of 9.650.They both earned second-team All-ECACin the event with their performances. Yael Sollins also had a 9.625 on the apparatus, a career-high. On the uneven bars, three Quakers earned second-team All-ECAC honors. Christina Anzalone placed tied-for-seventh with a 9.775, Kimberly Chin earned a 9.650and Emily Petkun scored a 9.625 to earn the honor.

Stephanie Ortiz led the Quakers on the beam, tying for second with a 9.625, earning first-teamAll-ECAC honors.Kelly Sievert placed seventh on the beam with a 9.600 and Petkun and Moon each tied for eighth with scores of 9.550. All three earned second-team All-ECAC honors. On the floor, Petkun tied her highest score of the season with a 9.875 to place second. Sievertand Lex Chalat tied for sixth, each earning a 9.825 in the event. It was a new career-high for Sievert. All three earned first-team All-ECAC honors for their performances. Ortiz placed eighth in the event with a 9.800 andrecieved second-team All-ECAC honors.

In the all-around, Petkun placed third with a score of 38.600. She is currently ranked first in the Northeast region in the event.

The Quakers were the top Ivy League finisher at the championship. Yale finished in fourth place with a 191.100, Cornell placed seventh with a 189.525 and Brown was ninth with a score of 184.325. Temple finished fifth with a 190.125, William and Mary sixth with a 189.075 and host James Madison placed eighth with a 188.500.

Written by Jennifer Hildebrand, athletic communications assistant