Penn Gymnastics Opens Season on December 10

The Penn gymnastics program launches it's 32nd season on Friday, December 10 as the women compete in the annual "Red vs Blue" intrasquad meet. The competition will be held at 6 p.m. in Hutchinson Gymnasium. Admission is free.

The Quakers are coming off the most successful season in the history of the program, as the 2004 squad brokenumerous programrecords on the way to winning both the Ivy Classic and Eastern College Athletic Conference Team Championships. In addition to these victories, Penn's final national ranking of 52ndandNCAA regional rankingof sixthwere thehighest in team history.

Head Coach Tom Kovic, who was namedNCAA Eastern Regional Coach of the Year in 2004, is optomistic about theteam's success continuing in 2005. Said Kovic, "The 2005 team brings similar qualities to the tableas last years squad. They have a tremendous work ethic, passionate attitudes and strong, deep talent. I think what sets this team apart is their maturity. Two-thirds of the squad are upper classmen. You cannot assign a score to that type of experience."
About the team'sbody, mind and spirit, Kovic said, "Physically, this is the most demanding stretch of the season. The women are being bombarded with conditioning during every aspect of the training sessions. Ibelieve that this early segment of the season directly affects the competitive segment of the year. The current training load is gruelling and at times very frustrating, but we want the team to be both physically very strong and mentally very tough. Those are two critical components in developing a relentless competitor, while at the same time grouping a closely knit team".

"Captains Lex Chalat, Leah Moon and Yael Sollins have all done a tremendous jobof inner-team management," said Kovic. "Havinga 'hands on' effect as team leaders makes all the difference in the potential outcome of a season.I could not have asked for a stronger senior class to lead the charge to defend our titles."

For additional Penn Gymnastics information please email coach kovic at: kovic@pobox.upenn.edu