WILLIAMSBURG– Flips and tumbles galore were taking place at Kaplan Arena as the College of William and Mary welcomed all women’s gymnastics teams from the Gymnastics East Conference (GEC) for GEC Championship weekend on Mar. 17 and 18.
The GEC, established in 2022, is made up of teams from University of Bridgeport, Brown University, William and Mary, Cornell University, Yale University, West Chester University, University of Pennsylvania, and Southern Connecticut State University.
The all-day affair kicked off the afternoon session with competitors from the eighth to fifth ranked schools in the conference. William and Mary posted the top score of the first session, placing first with a 193.050. The session also saw Cornell University in second, University of Bridgeport in third and Southern Connecticut State University in fourth.
Gymnasts in the second session were members of teams ranked one through four in the conference. After the full competition came to a close, University of Pennsylvania retained their conference title with a score of 194.925. In second place was Yale University, third place was West Chester University, and fourth was Brown University.
William and Mary ultimately ended up in fifth place after all teams were ranked by finishing score.
Tribe Gymnastics Head Coach Kelsey Hinton was proud to welcome the entire conference to Kaplan Arena.
“There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes to make this happen, but once the meet started I was calm. The girls were so excited and I’m so glad that we were able to host for this particular senior class,” Hinton said.
William and Mary Tribe Gymnast Emma Wiley took to the mat one final time. To have the conference championships in front of her home crowd meant everything to her.
“This means the world to me. To have all of our alum and parents are here to support us. We really felt like the tribe was coming out in full force today. It was an awesome environment and we had so much fun. We were feeding off the crowd and overall it was just a really great time,” Wiley shared.
Fans from all the schools in the conference enjoyed the action throughout the day. Those young and old found the thrill of a live meet exciting. For young gymnasts Amelia Elson, Ella McWhorter, and Zoe Jackson, the three couldn’t have been more excited to watch and be inspired.
“I want to go to a college to do gymnastics one day,” McWhorter said. Elson and Jackson also had similar things to say, mentioning how much they looked up to the girls of Tribe Gymnastics.
For Hinton, letting this particular senior class graduate will be hard.
“Those girls should have no regrets. They are one of the toughest senior classes I’ve ever coached. They should be so proud of themselves. Most of them are going out and doing some big things with their careers. We’re just so excited for them. I’m so grateful that I was able to help them from their freshman year onto their senior year to mold them to be ready for the real world.”