College to host USA Collegiate Championships

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March 25, 2007

7:59 PM

__Tribe looks to defend last year’s title__

p. Tomorrow at Kaplan Arena, the gymnastics program will host the 2007 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships. The event begins with the team finals at 2 p.m. Saturday and continues with the individual finals at 2 p.m. Sunday.

p. Special guest and former Olympian Blaine Wilson will be in attendance and available for questions and autographs the entire weekend. Admission is free with a student ID.

p. This championship has been sponsored by USA Gymnastics since 1987, but this is the first year the Tribe has hosted it.

p. The College is the defending champion and will challenge schools such as the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, James Madison University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the varsity level, and University of Washington, Arizona State University and the University of Texas at the club level this weekend.

p. “Our toughest opponent will be the Midshipmen from Navy,” senior Co-Captain Dave Ridings said. “We have been neck and neck all season.”

p. The College is ranked first in the USAG Collegiate Division and 14th nationally. The Tribe is also going into the championship having won the past five consecutive years. The Tribe’s Andrew Hunt is the high bar and parallel bar champion from last year’s competition.

p. Despite a challenging season, including multiple injuries, the team has stayed strong. Junior captain Aaron Ingram is still very confident in the team’s ability to perform.

p. “We may be small and under-funded, but we have loads of heart, and I am confident against any competitor who thinks they are up to the challenge,” Ingram said.

p. The Tribe has high hopes for keeping the championship title at home.

p. “Every member of the team has the drive, enthusiasm and talent to bring another championship to [the College],” Ridings said.

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