PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 7, 2012) – Coming off a season-high team score of 193.175 and a first place finish in a quad meet at Cornell last weekend, Rutgers University gymnastics returns home for a 1 p.m. meet against Towson University and West Chester University on Saturday, March 10 inside the Livingston Recreation Center. The program will honor its five departing gymnasts in a ceremony before the final results are revealed.
The “Senior Meet” will be broadcast live on RVision, presented by AT&T at ScarletKnights.com with Danny Breslauer calling the play-by-play and Chrystal Chollet-Norton providing the analysis. Chollet-Norton is the winningest coach in Rutgers gymnastics history, amassing 253 victories over a 25-year tenure as the leader of the program from 1987-2011.
Following the fourth rotation, head coach Louis Levine and the entire program will take time to recognize seniors Alexandra Belvis (Hinsdale, Ill.), Melanie Brother (Crofton, Md.), Danae Johnson (Silver Spring, Md.) and Nicole Schwartz (Somerset, N.J.) in addition to graduate student Leigh Heinbaugh (Sicklerville, N.J.) for their contributions to the program.
“These seniors and I started at Rutgers at the same time so it will be a special day,” said Levine, who was an assistant at RU for three seasons before being promoted to head coach. “It is an exciting time, yet a sad time since it is the end of their careers. This group has played a big part in elevating Rutgers gymnastics to where it is today.”
Rutgers (11-9) improved its team score and earned a season-high on the balance beam (48.600) last weekend in Ithaca, N.Y. Freshman Anastasia Halbig (Schwenksville, Pa.) won first place on the balance beam for the second-straight week (9.800), while sophomore Alexis Gunzelman (Tabernacle, N.J.) and junior Danielle D’Elia (Colts Neck, N.J.) won the floor exercise (9.875) and uneven bars (9.900) with career-best scores, respectively.
Towson (14-5) is also coming off a first place finish. The Tigers won a tri-meet and defeated William & Mary and Yale with a team score of 192.850. Senior Kacy Catanzaro earned first place on both the vault (9.800) and the uneven bars (9.825). Senior Lindsay Poplaski finished in first place in the all-around tying her career-high with a score of 38.875. Head coach Vicki Chliszczyk is in her second year coaching the Tigers.
West Chester (10-6) defeated Springfield College in a dual meet 185.025-183.025 last time out. The Golden Rams earned a school-best score of 47.600 on the uneven bars, with freshman Stephanie Schuler taking first place with a score of 9.625. West Chester earned the top three spots on the balance beam with senior Amber Miller (9.775) finishing first. Head coach Barbara Cordova is in her fourth year as coach of her alma mater.
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