Springfield College, simply put, is an athletics powerhouse. The Pride’s 24 varsity programs are constantly competing at the highest level in each sport’s respective conference. Sometimes, the teams even succeed on a national level – women’s gymnastics was an example of that this past weekend.
On Mar. 18, Springfield College women’s gymnastics sent three gymnasts – junior Marissa DeAngelo, sophomore Briana Kerr and freshman Heather Gomes – to the NCGA Championship in Brockport, N.Y.
For DeAngelo and Kerr, it was each gymnast’s second straight appearance. Gomes started her Pride gymnastics career off hot with a qualification in her first season.
While the team itself missed qualifications (the Pride finished fourth at the NCGA East Championship) the three athletes who qualified on behalf of the team made sure to not come back empty handed. DeAngelo, the NCGA East Gymnast of the Year, picked up three All-American honors (First Team All-American in the vault, Second Team All-American on the beam and all-around).
“Every practice I make sure I have fun and enjoy the time because it’s more pleasure and not business,” DeAngelo said in regards to her work in all three events. “Every day I also work my best, no matter what kind of day it is.”
DeAngelo’s impressive performance not only delivered her third, fourth and fifth All-American awards, but the junior also broke two Springfield College records. DeAngelo’s performance in the all-around (38.275) set a new school record, including a program-record 9.725 in the vault. The previous records were set in 2007 and 1997, respectively.
“It’s so surreal, I still can’t believe it,” DeAngelo said. “It was a goal of mine to break the all-around record and I finally did it. I’m so happy that my hard work paid off.”
With one more undergraduate year remaining for DeAngelo, she’ll look to build off of her impressive junior season.
“Next year I plan on providing support and leadership to my team. Gymnastics-wise, I definitely want to be a role model for the underclassmen and maybe break some more records,” said DeAngelo. “A goal would be to make nationals as a team. That would be the best senior year anyone could ask for.”
DeAngelo wasn’t the only Pride gymnast to take home All-American honors: Kerr scored a 9.725 on the uneven bars, good for seventh overall, and a First Team All-American finish. Her score was just 0.050 points short of tying the school record.
In her first experience at the NCGA Championship, the freshman Gomes was unable to compete due to illness.
Kerr and DeAngelo combined to bring Springfield College’s women’s gymnastics All-American honors count up to 88, as well as the first four for first-year head coach Jen Najuch.