Triton Gymnasts Wrap Up an Incredible Season with a Strong Showing at NAIGC Nationals
On April 10th, UCSD sent a whopping sixteen gymnasts to the NAIGC Nationals in Daytona Beach, Florida, ten more than the previous season. The competition lasted three days and was broken up into two preliminary qualification days, and a Finals session that featured the top 10 finishers on each of the events from prelims for the Women’s Level 7, 8, and 9 and the Men’s Level 9 and NCAA Modified Level. The competition hosted a record number of over 1,500 athletes from over 150 colleges spanning the entire country, with the Tritons making waves in the competition.
UCSD’s Developmental Level Team was made up of Freshman Madison Adornetto, Sophomore Bianca Almeida, Junior Orianna Kou, and Seniors Nina Cheikh and Sierra Casper. Almeida garnered a solid personal best of a 9.150 on Floor with a sassy performance that dazzled the judges, earning her a 7th place finish in the nation on the event. Casper earned a season high of 9.125 on Beam, finishing 9th in the nation on the event. With solid performances from all team members, UCSD earned an outstanding 3rd place finish in the nation, which was UCSD’s first team finish at Nationals.
The Women’s Level 7 Team was headlined by Junior Clare Haworth, who qualified for Finals on Vault, Floor, and in the All-Around. With absolutely solid performances on Vault and Floor, she finished 3rd in the nation on both events in the Finals Session, earning scores of 9.175 and 9.550, respectively. Competitors in the Women’s Level 8 were Junior Reily Cannon and Senior and Co-Captain Sophie Chamaa, who wrapped up her UCSD Gymnastics career with a career-high of 9.2 on Floor.
UCSD’s Women’s Level 9 Team was highlighted by Junior and Co-Captain Elaine Silverman who finished in 7th, 10th, and 13th on Bars, Floor, and All-Around respectively, out of 187 gymnasts during prelims to qualify to the Finals session. Junior Linh-An Ho finished 29th on Beam, while Junior Renaissance Majee finished 28th on Floor.
The Men’s NCAA Modified Level team of Freshman Ryan Burgess, Sophomore Jeremy Gutierrez, and Grad Student Philipp Arndt rounded out the UCSD squad. Arndt finished 31st out of 183 competitors in the All-Around, while Burgess and Gutierrez finished 51st and 62nd respectively. Burgess also competed in the NAIGC Upper Level Decathlon, which consists of the tremendous feat of completing all six men’s events in the Men’s NCAA Modified Level and all four women’s events in the Women’s Level 9, both of which are the highest levels in NAIGC. In only his second time ever completing the Decathlon in competition, Burgess was crowned the Collegiate Decathlon Champion.
The competition concluded with the annual NAIGC Banquet honoring not only all the top finishers in all gymnastics disciplines, but also scholar athletes and Regional Clubs of the Year. UCSD’s own Junior Elaine Silverman and Grad Student Philipp Arndt were given the NAIGC Scholar Athlete Award, which honors any NAIGC gymnast with a 3.7+ GPA. To top off the team’s undoubtedly remarkable season, UCSD was also bestowed the NAIGC West Coast Club of the Year Award, which honors a club from a given region in the country that has gone above and beyond the rest not only in their competition performance, but also in the way that they exemplify the values and motto of NAIGC, “For the love of the sport,” in and out of the gym. In just its second year as a sports club, Club Gymnastics has achieved such great milestones that would not have been possible without the dedicated leadership and captains, and of course the members who continue their love of the sport day in and day out and help others find that same passion. Although the season has come to a close, the Triton Gymnasts can’t wait to get back in the gym to learn new skills and look forward to welcoming new recruits for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.