The Tribe’s men and women kick off their postseason meets this weekend as the men travel to Springfield College to take part in the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championship today and tomorrow, and the women will host the ECAC Championship tomorrow in Kaplan Arena.
The 11th-ranked male squad will be looking to turn a wave of late-season victories into gold this weekend.
“We’ve won three of our last four meets, and since our season opener, University of Illinois — Chicago is the only team in the conference that has beaten us,” freshman Andy Hunter said.
“We’re confident that we can carry this momentum into the post season.”
The men’s championship is for teams that give a maximum of two full scholarships; the College does not designate any. While the Tribe has won the event for seven straight years, they expect to face stiff competition this year.
“We want to force people to beat us,” Gauthier said. “We are pretty tough to beat as a team and are very consistent. People have stepped up to hit big routines at the right time this year.”
Seniors Andrew Hunt and David Locke will return to defend their individual titles. Hunt will defend his on the parallel and high bars; Locke looks to wrap up his second consecutive championship on vault.
“We’re competing against ourselves out there,” Hunter said. “If we hit our sets, other teams will have to throw everything they have to beat us.”
The lady gymnasts will attempt to win the fifth ECAC championship in the College’s history. The Tribe has not won the title since 2003.
“We have struggled with consistency this year,” Head Coach Mary Lewis said. “The catchphrase this season has been ‘close the deal.’”
According to Lewis, while the College has little chance of earning an NCAA bid, two seniors, Tricia Long and Stevie Waldman, have a chance of obtaining individual bids in the all-around discipline.
“A lot of weight is on [Long and Waldmans’] shoulders because they perform a third of the routines,” Lewis said.
Long and Waldman currently rank 20th and 21st in the Southeast region in all-around. However, only the top five point leaders can go to NCAAs because competitors on teams that qualify for the competition do not get counted in the top five. Long and Waldman currently sit in sixth and seventh position outside of teams expected to make the championship.