Lady Flames capture second place at competition in Atlanta
March 8, 2014 | Atlanta, Ga.
Liberty University's gymnastics team placed second out of nine teams competing Saturday at Emory University in Atlanta. It was Liberty's final official meet before it sends eight competitors to the April 2-5 National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs (NAIGC) Championships in Chattanooga, Tenn.
On Saturday, the Lady Flames had six gymnasts, joined by Liberty's only male athlete, Jonathan Baldwin, in a field of approximately 120 competitors.
"We've spent a lot of time in practices over the last couple weeks working on their overall presentation and some of the details and it all came together this weekend, so we had a great time," Liberty Head Coach Rachel Steele said. "Overall, I was very, very pleased with their performances."
The Lady Flames placed second behind only the University of Florida in a field that also included Clemson, Tennessee Tech, Florida State University, Emory, and the University of Georgia.
Individually, Liberty junior Alyssa Frost took first place on vault and third on the uneven bars, scoring enough points to finish third in the All-Around.
Lady Flames sophomore Alexandra Wescott claimed first place in the floor exercise.
"She stuck all three passes and just was really able to execute all of the new skills that she's added in her floor routine this year," Steele said.
Freshman Jessica Hogue contributed most of the rest of the scores for the Liberty and competed well in the All-Around, which also includes the balance beam.
In preparation for the NAIGC National Championships, Liberty will host an informal competition at either its facility in The Plaza or Elite Gymnastics in Lynchburg over the weekend of March 22-23.
Gymnasts from James Madison University, last season's women's national runner-up, and the University of Virginia have indicated they would compete in the event along with possibly University of North Carolina and University of Georgia.
Besides Frost, Hogue, and Wescott, the Lady Flames will send sophomore Constance McNair, junior Jennifer Schools, junior Ashley Ford, and senior Tiphani Comena to Tennessee along with Baldwin, a graduate student.
"All of them compete in the All-Around except Constance, who does all but bars, and Jonathan, who specializes in the floor, vault, and parallel bars," Steele said.
The Flames will leave for nationals on April 2, when it will practice upon arrival before the first day of competition will be April 3 or 4 with the finals to follow on April 5.