The USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships illustrated the ups and downs of Penn gymnastics.
The Red and Blue certainly showed their depth, qualifying nearly half of their roster for the USAGs, held this past weekend.
But while the Quakers sent seven of the 10 athletes qualified to Providence, they managed to earn just one second-team All-American spot in total. This year marks the first time the Red and Blue have not had a gymnast qualify for any first-team honors at USAG’s after claiming 12 first or second-team All-American slots each of the past two years. This is also the first year the Quakers did not compete in the team event in any capacity.
The All-American tally was certainly affected by the absence of sophomores Carissa Lim and Elyse Shenberger , as well as senior co-captain Diana Moock . Lim earned first-team honors last year, and, like Moock and junior Makeda Constable , qualified this year but did not compete. Shenberger was sidelined with an unspecified injury this year.
In what’s been a rebuilding year for a fairly young squad, it was fitting that the top performance of the weekend came from a freshman. Rachel Graham notched a 9.75 on her floor routine to secure her All-American honors. Moreover, of the seven Quakers competing over the weekend, only one — Nicki Valenti — will graduate this year.
Junior Amber Woo competed in the most events for Penn — vault, bars and beam — but could not crack into the top echelon despite consistent performances on all apparatuses. Valenti also just missed earning honors, finishing with the third-best floor score in the individual event.
Coach John Ceralde could not be reached for comment.
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