Gymnastics Team Gear Up For 2005 Season

Feb. 1, 2005

Providence, RI - The 2005 season will be a breakthrough season for many of the Brown gymnasts. In graduating Jayne Finst and Gina Verge in 2004, this year's team will look to fill the spots in the line-up left by these two very successful all-around gymnasts. They were a huge impact on our line-up, and have left many opportunities for the 2005 team. The season was kicked off with two meets in California, visiting Berkeley on January 14th and Sacramento State on January 16th.

Senior tri-captains Melissa Forziat (Garden City, NY), Kelly Moran (Chevy Chase, MD) and Maya Vadiveloo (Vernon, CT) carry on the Brown Gymnastics traditions and look forward to leading the team to a win in the Ivy Classic. Forziat has been one of our strongest beam and floor competitors during the last three seasons. This year, in a team effort to fill some of the holes in the line-up, she has added a new twisting vault. It is already scoring well and she hopes to increase the value soon. Moran will continue to perform on bars for the Bears, hoping to break her personal best 9.725. She will also make appearances on floor this season, having added a 2 _ twist to her tumbling. Vadiveloo has been working diligently on beam and bars and will make it into the line-up this season.

This year's junior class is lead by Amber Smith (Fort Myers, FL) who, after focusing on 2-3 events last year, will be a strong all-around competitor this season. She kicked off the season hitting four-for-four in the first meet at Berkeley. Mandi Baughman (Exeter, NH) and Sarah Cavett (Chattanooga, TN) will also add depth to the line-up, with Baughman continuing as a strong performer on floor and beam and Cavett, Brown's top performer on bars, making her debut on the balance beam as well. In her first competition on the beam, she hit a 9.325 for the Bears. Jessica McNell (Darien, CT) looks to be a regular again in the vault and bar line-ups and could make an appearance on beam this year. Returning to the Bears after suffering a torn Achilles tendon prior to last season is Jessica Pouchet (Miami, FL). Pouchet had immediate surgery and spent the first semester of the academic year studying abroad in Spain. A true team player, Pouchet leaped back into the line-up competing in bars for the first meet. Two days later, she competed vault, bars and floor at Sacramento. She earned the ECAC Gymnastics Coaches Choice Award for her performances in California.

Sophomore Caryn Leventhal (Roslyn, NY) will compete in vault and has been working hard for a spot in the floor line-up as well. Teammate Nadia Nguyen (Portland, OR) is looking to make great strides this season, becoming more consistent on the beam and has developed a beautiful new floor routine to show off in upcoming meets. Kate Slawsky (Westborough, MA) suffered ligament damage in her ankle early this season and may not be cleared to compete this year. Slawsky hopes to make it back into the line-up as soon as possible.

The freshmen class is filled with talent and determination. Sarah Durning joins Brown from Roswell, GA. She competes in the Bears' most difficult (10.0 start value) vault - a handspring double full. She will also compete beam and floor for the Bears and is working on a bar routine in hopes of competing all-around. Hannah Goldstein, a freshman from New York City was Bruno's first freshman to compete in the all-around for their first meet of the season at Berkley, CA. She is a huge addition to the team, especially on bars. Jessica Pestronk from Grand Blanc, Michigan, referred to as "Sparky" to her teammates, only competed on the beam in the first two meets of the season, but look for her in the all-around soon as her routines are very competitive in all events.