Providence, RI- The Brown University gymnastics team celebrated its 2011 season with a banquet at Twist on Angell in Providence. The student-athletes and coaches honored the team's hard work and season accomplishments with six individual awards. Additionally, five freshmen were presented first-year varsity letter sweaters and two senior captains earned four-year letter sweaters, a Brown tradition that dates back to the early 1900s.
Sophomore Emily Lutfey, a USAG First Team All-American on the floor exercise and a Second Team All-American on the vault and in the all-around, was awarded Brown's Most Valuable Gymnast award. She received First Team recognition after she finished second place in the event finals on the floor with an outstanding score of 9.825 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, tying her personal record. Lutfey also competed all-around at the NCAA Regionals hosted at the University of Michigan and earned a score of 36.675. Lutfey also received All-ECAC honors on both the vault and floor exercise. She was also named ECAC Gymnast of the Week several times this season.
Freshman Michelle Shnayder made a big impact for the Bears this season and capped off her rookie campaign being named a First Team USAG All-American on the floor exercise. Shnayder posted a 9.700 on the floor, earning ninth place in the finals and All-American status in her first season. She earned ECAC Rookie of the Week honors after earning a personal best on the beam on March 12 with a 9.750 and helped Brown break a school record 48.800 on the event. She registered a career-high 9.825 on the floor twice this season, during the Ivy Classic and in a meet against Bridgeport, and has a career-high 9.675 on the vault.
The Bruno Award, which is given to the team member who displays the best sportsmanship, team spirit, and positive motivation for the team throughout the season, was awarded to both freshman Madeline Benz and senior Chelsey Binkley. Benz competed on the beam for the Bears this season and had a big routine for the squad with a career-high 9.750 in a meet against UNH and Central Michigan. Her score lead the team to a season-high score of 193.675.
Binkley, an Academic All-Ivy selection and the ECAC Scholar Athlete of the Year, was one of Brown's most consistent performers this season, as well as throughout her career. Competing on the vault and bars during the 2011 campaign, Binkley set new career-highs of a 9.750 on the vault and a 9.800 on the bars. Binkley earned All-ECAC honors on the vault after earning fourth place with her 9.75. She led the Bears to new school records on both vault and bars this season. Last year, she was her team's Most Valuable Gymnast and was a USAG All-American on the vault.
Earning the team's Most Consistent Award was sophomore Lauren Hall. Hall competed on the bars for the Bears this year and always performed her best day in and day out. She had two season-high scores of 9.725, the first coming in a meet against UNH, Michigan State and Alaska, and the second against Cornell.
Sophomore Kasey Haas picked up the Bears' Most Improved Award after missing all of last year due to a season-ending injury she sustained before coming to Brown. Haas came back strong to compete on three events for the Bears; the bars, beam and floor. She posted a career-high 9.800 on the bars against UNH and Central Michigan to help the Bears to a season-high score of 193.675, and also posted career-highs of a 9.5 on the beam and a 9.650 on the floor. Kasey was key in helping the Bears break the school record on bars twice this season.
Lilly Siems and Nicole Abdo were awarded the team's Unsung Hero Award. Siems suffered an injury and did not start competing until February. She exhibitioned in just two meets on bars before posting a career-high 9.825 on the bars against UNH and Central Michigan en route to Brown's new school record on that event and season-high score of 193.675. She followed it up with a 9.7 performance the following weekend with a 9.700 against Cornell.
Abdo competed on the floor and twice on the bars for the Bears this year. But in those two times on the bars she posted a career-high 9.675 on the bars in a meet against Bridgeport and Southern Connecticut. Abdo posted a season high 9.575 on floor and contributed to the Bears' success all season long.