Gymnastics Welcomes Eight Newcomers

PHILADELPHIA - The Penn gymnastics team welcomes eight fresh faces to its program for the 2009-10 season. The newcomers come from seven different states ranging from New Jersey to Washington. The Quakers return 11 gymnasts from last year's team as they look to take a run at the program's tenth Ivy title. Penn's first meet is Jan. 17 at the George Washington Invitational.

Meet the newcomers...

Claire Stingley
Willowbrook High School
Villa Park, Ill.

2009: Attended the University of Nebraska ... Member of the Huskers' gymnastics team ... Scholastic All-American ... Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll ... Enrolled in the Honors and Fellowship programs ... National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Club/High School: Level 10 Junior Olympic gymnast ... 2005 Level 9 Junior Olympic national floor champion ... Competed in the 2008 Level 10 Nationals and 2006-08 Level 10 Regionals ... National Honor Society, Foreign Language Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Society member.

Personal: Daughter of Mary-Christine and Marc Stingley ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Julia Valenziano
West Morris High School
Mendham, N.J.

Club/High School: 2009 Level 10 Region VII qualifier ... 2008 Level 10 Region VII qualifier ... Placed third in all-around at the state championships ... Three-year letterwinner in track ... First-team all-conference in 2008 and second-team all-conference in 2006 ... Ran at Penn Relays with her high school team ... National Honor Society member ... Peer Leader ... Recipient of the Lisa Rose Appelbaum Scholarship ... Involved in mission trips to the Dominican Republic.

Personal: Daughter of Kate and Carl Valenziano ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences as a Biological Basis of Behavior major.


Kristen Hughes
Roxbury High School
Ledgewood, N.J.

Club/High School: Level 10 gymnast ... 2009 Nationals qualifier ... 2008 uneven bar champion ... Region VII qualifier in 2008 and 2006 ... National Honor Society member ... Class of 2009 Secretary ... Class Valedictorian ... Peer Leader.

Personal: Daughter of Jocelyn and John Hughes ... Enrolled in Wharton.


Dana Hollinger
La Cueva High School
Albuquerque, N.M.

Club/High School: Alternate at Level 10 Nationals in 2007 and 2008 ... 2009 New Mexico state champion ... Five-time Level 10 Regionals qualifier ... National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society member ... Academic letter recipient her junior and senior year.

Personal: Daughter of Paula and Mitchel Hollinger ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Haleigh Zillges
Oshkosh West High School
Oshkosh, Wis.

Club/High School: 2008 Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals qualifier ... 2007 Level 9 Junior Olympic Western beam champion ... Six-time regional qualifier spanning Levels 8-10 ... National Honor Society member ... Class Valedictorian ... DARE role model.

Personal: Daughter of Gina and Mark Zillges ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Kirsten Strausbaugh
Floyd E. KellamHigh School
Virginia Beach, Va.

Club/High School: 2009 Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals qualifier ... 2006-09 Level 10 Region VII qualifier ... 2009 Level 10 all-around state champion ... Placed sixth in all-around at the 2009 Level 10 Region VII meet ... National Honor Society member ... Monogram Club member.

Personal: Daughter of Deborah and Stephen Strausbaugh ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Dana Bonincontri
Bellevue High School
Bellevue, Wash.

Club/High School: Level 10 five-time Junior Olympic Nationals qualifier (2005-09) ... 2009 state champion ... Placed fourth in all-around at the 2007 Nationals ... 2009 Gymnast of the Year.

Personal: Daughter of Patsy and Michael Bonincontri ... Enrolled in Wharton.


Megan Milavec
Peters TownshipHigh School
Venetia, Pa.

Club/High School: 2006 Level 9 Eastern Nationals qualifier, placing fifth on bars, 12th on floor, and 13th in all-around ... 2007-09 Level 10 Regionals qualifier ... 2009 and 2007 state beam champion ... National Honor Society member ... Class Valedictorian ... High honor roll all four years.

Personal: Daughter of Jen and Gary Milavec ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences as a biological basis of behavior major.