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Women's gymnastics sets standard in NCGA Eastern Region

by Justin Maybach
Tue, Feb 27th 2018 10:00 pm
Junior balance beam and floor specialist Madison O'Malley (above) completes her balance beam routine in spectacular fashion. The team is the best in the division at that particular apparatus.
Junior balance beam and floor specialist Madison O'Malley (above) completes her balance beam routine in spectacular fashion. The team is the best in the division at that particular apparatus.

The College at Brockport women’s gymnastics team has less than two weeks to prepare for one of its largest competitions of the year, National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) East Regionals.

If the gymnasts maintain the level of competition they have performed at in their already successful season it is sure to end in an impressive and record-breaking way.

On Sunday, Feb. 25, the Golden Eagles traveled to Ithaca, New York for the Harriet Marranca Memorial Invite between the Ithaca College Bombers and the Rhode Island College Anchorwomen. Brockport finished with a score of 183.800. Despite losing to Ithaca (189.575), the Golden Eagles beat Rhode Island (174.925) to finish in second.

Brockport head coach John Feeney gave 18 gymnasts the opportunity to show off their skills in preparation for the NCGA East Regionals on Saturday, March 10.

The Golden Eagles were led by juniors Stephanie Mager and Kayleen Burns. Mager finished in first on vault (9.725) and fourth on bars (9.375). Burns took fifth on floor (9.475) while sophomore Alyssa Klock took fourth on beam (9.525). 

According to Burns, the ladies were satisfied with their progress in the tri-meet.

“This past weekend was a great experience,” Burns said. “Everyone had the chance to do the sport we love. It was good to see new faces in the lineup. It’s awesome to be number one. It shows how much we’ve come together as a team. We compete as one not as individuals and that just proves it.”

Burns, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, also showcased routines on the vault and bars. She was one of four Brockport gymnasts to compete in three events.

Despite a record of 8–5 on the season, Brockport was recognized with several tremendous honors in the past week. As a team, the Golden Eagles are ranked number one in the country in all-around, floor, bars, and beam. Senior Brittany Vasile is ranked number one on the floor and junior Taylor Keough is ranked number one on bars. 

Junior Candis Kowalik, who was ranked number one on balance beam and all-around, finished in seventh on the bars (9.250), her only event of the tri-meet. While the rankings appear impressive on paper, Kowalik says that they don’t matter to the team as a whole lot. 

“Our team as a whole doesn’t focus so much on them,” Kowalik said. “We are continuing to prepare and practice so that we can perform at our fullest potential.”

On the other hand, Burns believes the rankings are a reflection of all the hard work put into the season.

“It’s awesome to be number one,” Burns said. “It shows how much we’ve come together as a team. We compete as one, not as individuals. That just proves it.”

Brockport will compete in its final regular season meet this weekend in the Brown Bears Invite in Providence, Rhode Island on Sunday, March 4. The Golden Eagles will be matched up against the Southern Connecticut State University Fighting Owls, the Brown University Bears, and the University of Bridgeport Purple Knights.

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