Gymnastics Set To Open Season at GW Invitational

After a one-year hiatus, the Red and Blue will compete in the 2005 George Washington Invitational in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 16. The defending Ivy Classic and ECAC Champions open the 2005 season at an event in which they will face tough competition from teams such as the host Colonials, Temple, North Carolina, William& Mary, Towson and Cornell. It is the Quakers 18th season competing in the event under Head Coach Tom Kovic.

Said Kovic, "The team is very anxious and excited about competing. They have all put forth great effort in practice and the stiff competition will be a great way to get the veterans back into the competitive swing and to see how the freshmen will react in big meets."

The Quakers finished fourth at the 2004 George Washington Invitational with 189.075, a program record at the meet. Then-freshman Kara Dewhurst won the uneven bars with a then personal-best 9.8 in only her second collegiate competition. Dewhurst also turned in Penn's best performance on the vault, scoring a personal-record 9.625.

Then sophomore Emily Petkun placed sixth in the all-around with a 37.75 in 2004, and her best individual event performance of the invitational came on the floor, where she scored a team-high 9.625. Then junior Alexandra Chalat tied Petkun in the event with a 9.625 and then junior Leah Moon turned in a team-high 9.675 on the beam.

"This event will be a good way to evaluate the competition that is out there before the dual-meet season begins," said Kovic. "The women have done everything we have asked from a training standpoint. Now it's their time to shine and stretch their legs a bit."

Written by Jennifer Hildebrand, athletic communications assistant