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Brockport gymnastics shows Ithaca who is No. 1

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Wed, Mar 6th 2019 02:00 pm
Senior beam and floor specialist Madison O'Malley kneels in her floor routine against Ithaca and Rhode Island College on Saturday, Feb. 2. O'Malley is in the process of finishing her fourth and final year as a Golden Eagle gymnast.
Senior beam and floor specialist Madison O'Malley kneels in her floor routine against Ithaca and Rhode Island College on Saturday, Feb. 2. O'Malley is in the process of finishing her fourth and final year as a Golden Eagle gymnast.

While the Eastern Conference regular season of the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) has come to a close, The College at Brockport gymnastics team is continuing its dominance as it holds the number one spot in the national ranks of DIII programs. 

As it currently stands, Brockport is on the verge to record one of its most successful seasons in program history. With its most recent victories in a tri-meet against Ithaca and Cortland, the team has compiled a total of 12 wins and three losses on its way to the top of DIII gymnastics. 

The welcoming of March saw Brockport add momentum to its red-hot form as it took down Cortland for the third time this season, along with a victory over DIII’s second ranked team, Ithaca. The meet took place on Sunday, March 3 and marked the end of the regular season for Brockport. 

During the meet’s first routine on the vault, Brockport’s efforts nearly claimed all of the top-five spots as freshman virtuoso Nicole Jackson grabbed first place with an almost perfect score of 9.825, followed by senior Candis Kowalik in second with 9.800. The team topped the event with a combined finish of 48.475. 

Despite recording a lower finish in the meet’s second event of uneven parallel bars, Brockport was able to hold on to the lead and posted a team score of 47.825. 

In the third event, the balance beam, The Golden Eagles extended their lead with Kowalik capitalizing once more and finishing at the top of the leaderboard with a score of 9.650 to add to Brockport’s final team score of 49.950. 

For the last and strongest event of the tri-meet for Brockport, the floor exercise was a testament to the team’s ability to take control over the leaderboards as it finished with a score of 48.975 and disappeared from Ithaca and Cortland’s sight. Kowalik’s superb day was not over yet as she tallied an event-high score of 9.850 on her way to her second first-place finish of the meet. Similar to the vault routines, Brockport managed to claim four out of the five top spots in the event and claimed a meet-high score of 190.975 on the day overall. 

Brockport’s power within the league has been displayed across the meets it has competed in this season, and the numbers behind its success only add to the legacy it’s leaving. At the time of writing, Brockport leads all DIII competitors in the nation with a Season Average Score (SAS) of 190.1188. The SAS of a team is determined by the combined score of all four exercises that play a part in collegiate gymnastics. 

While the team has risen to the top of national leaderboards, its focus toward the postseason will not diminish, regardless of the success this season. The upcoming NCGA regionals is the next competition for Brockport and one that it cannot wait to take on. 

“The team is extremely excited for regionals this weekend,” Kowalik said. “We will be having a spirit week at practice this week and will continue to keep up with our daily pep talks to channel all that energy. We know as a team we can’t walk into the competition thinking we have already won because we have been successful this season. We know it’s anyone’s game that day so we just have to focus on ourselves and do the best routines we can.”

As for what the team will expect from the rise in competition during the postseason schedule, it plans on remaining true to the same game plan it has executed throughout the regular season in hopes to combat the obstacles of the regional and national level of the NCGA. 

“The team is planning to maintain the same game plan in order to keep up with the national level by treating regionals like any other meet and trying to do our very best as a team,” Kowalik said. “Hopefully that will secure us a top three spot in Nationals. At that point we have put in the work and dedication and it’s just to have fun and stay focused and I think our hard work will show in the end.”

With their superiority over the DIII playing field, the Golden Eagles will look to continue on with their ways and mark another top spot in the national picture of gymnastics. The number one gymnastics squad will participate in the NCGA regionals on Saturday, March 9 at Cortland.

Photo of the Week

Taken by Vincent Croce:
Staff Photographer

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