DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire gymnastics team celebrated the 2002 season at its annual awards banquet held Saturday on the UNH campus. Several gymnasts were honored for their performance this past season and captains for the 2003 squad were named.
Junior Jen Dickson (Salisbury, Md.) was named this year's Most Valuable Performer. Dickson, who was the only Wildcat to perform in the all-around in every meet, contributed a total of 465.05 points to the squad. She was named second team All-East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) in uneven bars, balance beam and all-around, and her top all-around score of 39.175 is good for sixth in UNH history.
Senior Bethany Wagner (Bound Brook, N.J.) was named the Most Improved Gymnast. Wagner moved into the all-around for the first time this past season and was the 'Cats top all-around performer in the final three meets of the season, including a high score of 39.025 at the EAGL Championships March 23. Wagner was a second-team All-EAGL selection on floor exercise.
Classmate Katie Revis (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) was selected for the Most Inspirational Gymnast award. Revis tied a school record on February 16, when she posted a score of 9.925 on floor exercise. A specialist on floor and beam, Revis was a second-team All-EAGL choice on beam and had a personal-best 9.85 in that event.
A new award, the Academic Excellence Award, was presented in the memory of Katie Baldwin, a UNH gymnast who passed away in November 2000. The award was given to junior Michelle Harley (Collegeville, Pa.), who had the highest GPA as calculated from January 1st to December 31st. Harley, who is a two-time NACGC/W Academic All-American, became UNH's first EAGL champion since 1998 when her 9.875 score on balance beam at the EAGL championships tied her for the top spot.
Six freshmen were honored with 9.5 Club Awards. The club was initiated by Robert "Pop" Houston, Sr. in 1989 and honors UNH gymnasts who achieve a score of at least 9.5. First-year team members Lindsay and Vanessa Berrios (Long, Pond, Pa.), Kimberly Cosci (Babylon, N.Y.), Vanessa James (Malden, Mass.), Jayne Propert (Bradley Beach, N.J.) and Michelle Totz (Whitby, Ontario) were all honored as the newest members of the club.
Also announced were the captains for 2003. Harley will serve as captain, while Dickson and Erin Malinak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) will serve as assistant captains for the squad.
The 2002 UNH gymnastics team, which loses only seniors Revis and Wagner to graduation, qualified for NCAA Regional competition for the 21st-consecutive season after posting a 8-7 record and finishing fifth at the EAGL Championships. The Wildcats finished fifth at the NCAA Central Regional in Baton Rouge, La.