PISCATAWAY, NJ – Ten members of the Rutgers University gymnastics team have been named to the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC) Academic All-America team, the organization announced. In addition, the Scarlet Knights achieved a 3.230 cumulative team grade point average, which places them within the Top 30 nationally.
In order to qualify, a student-athlete must achieve at least a 3.50 grade point average over an entire academic year and maintain at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA. RU’s honorees were led by Sveta Shterenberg (Sharon, MA), Stephanie Zick (Pittsburgh, PA) and Elizabeth Fittery (Denver, PA), who all had 3.84 grade point averages. Shterenberg, a two-time NCAA Northeast Regional qualifier, competes on the balance beam, uneven bars and floor exercise. Zick was a second-team all-EAGL selection on the balance beam and qualified for NCAA Regional last winter. Fittery, who was named RU’s co-MVP last season with Zick, averaged a 38.342 in the all-around and qualified for NCAA Regionals.
Caitlin Wight (Washington, PA) graduated in May with a degree in psychology and sociology and concluded her career last season with a second-team all-EAGL nod in the all-around. Jennifer Miksan (Carol Stream, IL) is a bio-medical engineering major with a 3.73 grade-point average. Janice Blackistone (Kensington, MD) earned a 3.71 grade point average in exercise science.
Lisa Abrams (Mt. Ephraim, NJ) earned her degree in criminal justice/sociology with a 3.61 grade point average and wrapped up her career in impressive fashion. She broke the school record on the balance beam with a 9.925 against Temple on Jan. 21 and then tied that mark with an identical score against North Carolina, Ursinus and Cortland on March 13.
Jessica Orlando (Erie, PA), a criminal justice major with a 3.59 grade point average, Tracy Heckler (Laurel Springs, NJ), a chemical engineering major with a 3.57 grade point average and Lorena Johnson (Lilburn, GA), who earned a 3.57 grade point average as a freshman, rounded out the Scarlet Knights’ honorees. Johnson finished 15th in all the all-around at NCAA Northeast Regionals with a 37.850.
Rutgers concluded its 2004 season with an overall record of 17-6 and finished eighth at the EAGL Championships. The season was highlighted by the 200th career win for head coach Chrystal Chollet-Norton, who reached the milestone on Jan. 24 against James Madison.