Bombers Win ECAC Gymnastics Title and Qualify For Nationals


Contributed by Michael Warwick

The top-ranked gymnastics team repeated as ECAC champions and will be competing at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Championships, to be held March 24-25 at Brockport. The team and all-around competition will be held on Friday, March 24 with the individual event championships scheduled for Saturday, March 25.

Ithaca defended its ECAC title by posting a team score of 184.225, edging out host Ursinus (183.725) and third-place Massachusetts Institute of Technology (183.650). Junior Kelly Stevison (Osborne Park/Manassas, Va.) placed second on the uneven bars with a score of 9.450 to lead the Bombers.

Stevison's score matched the fifth-best ever by a Bomber and was one of five all-conference performances (top-six) by Ithaca gymnasts. She also placed fourth in the floor exercise (9.550) and the all-around (37.300); junior Chelsie Veilleux (Nashua/Nashua, N.H.) placed fourth in the uneven bars (9.425); and junior Crescent Danziger (Wayne Hills/Wayne, N.J.) placed sixth in the vault (9.500).

Senior Krystal Kaminski (Churchville-Chili-Rochester) was named ECAC Gymnast of the Year and Rick Suddaby was named ECAC Coach of the Year.

The Bombers have won 15 ECAC titles in the past 23 years and has placed in the top three every year in that span.

The Bombers placed fifth at last year's nationals and have qualified every year since 1987. Ithaca is the only program to have qualified in each of the past 20 years. Last year the Bombers placed fifth; the 2004 team finished as NCGA runner-up (the 1987 and 1997 teams also placed second).

Seven teams have qualified for nationals, four from the East and three from the West regions. The rest of the field includes Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ursinus, Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Wisconsin-La Crosse, Wisconsin-Oshkosh and host Brockport. In addition, 32 athletes from non-qualifying teams will compete in individual events.