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Athletes of the Week: Gymnastics’ Kristin Feliu and Men’s Basketball’s Robbie Burke

Alex Thomas
Contributing Writer

Athletes-of-the-Week-feb28Kristin Feliu, Gymnastics

The Springfield College women’s gymnastics team finished second in their meet this week and had solid performances from many of their stars. Veterans and young members alike performed well for the Pride. Among those performers for the Pride was freshman Kristin Feliu. Feliu is a key contributor to the squad now, and looks to be moving forward in the future as well. Her weekend was capped by a solid first-place performance on the vault. She won that event with a score of 9.55.

Q. The team had a solid meet this past weekend, coming in second overall. Overall this season how do you feel about the team’s results?

A. I believe we have a strong team this year with lots of hard-working athletes. Each meet we have improved in different areas and on different events. We had our highest team score this past weekend with room to improve for ECACs in two weeks. Our main goal as a team is to peak at ECACs, which we are on our way to doing.

Q. How do you feel about your individual performance this season?

A. I am happy with how my freshman year has been going. As a freshman, I have three more years to improve. My vault has been improving throughout the season. My vault score has contributed toward the team total score almost every competition, which has been one of my main goals. My teammates have been extremely supportive throughout the season and have encouraged me to push through and perform my best.

Q. There are a lot of freshmen on the team this year. Do you think that benefits you moving forward with such a young roster?

A. I do believe this benefits all the freshmen moving forward. With such a young team, we have three years to improve. Some think a young team means there is inexperience, but I believe we are more than capable of performing and counting towards the team total score. The upperclassmen have been very welcoming to the freshmen and have helped us adjust to competing at the collegiate level. Even though there are a lot of freshmen, I have become close with every one of them and we are glad we can be a part of the team together.

Q. You personally had a solid weekend on the vault, earning a first-place score of 9.55. How do you feel about your overall performance this past weekend?

A. I am extremely happy with my performance this past weekend. I have been training and working very hard in the gym. I am proud with my results. It’s a great feeling knowing that your hard work has paid off.

Robbie Burke, Men’s Basketball

The Springfield College Pride are off to the NCAA Division III Tournament this weekend after an excellent season in the always competitive NEWMAC. The men’s basketball team is loaded with veteran talent, including junior Robbie Burke. Burke had a solid weekend for the Pride this past weekend, and was their most consistent player against MIT and WPI in the NEWMAC Tournament. Burke’s performance was essential when senior star Alex Berthiaume got into foul trouble in the championship game against WPI. Burke is a key part to the team’s success and he will once again be looked upon to perform in the squad’s upcoming tournament game this Saturday.

Q. How rewarding is it to make the NCAA Tournament and have a home game here on Saturday night?

A. It means the world to get a chance to play in this tournament, especially to have a home game. We fought hard this season and beat some premier teams. The support that we’ve gotten from fans and students is tremendous and it all serves as motivation to make a serious run in the dance.

Q. You guys had two huge games this weekend, beating MIT and losing to WPI. How important was it for you to have two really solid games in crunch time for your team?

A. We always battle with MIT and WPI and this weekend was clearly the same type of games. I’m always ready to do what I can to help my team win whether it’s scoring, rebounding, or other aspects of the game. I’m a very competitive player, so whatever it takes to win is the challenge I enjoy taking on.

Q. Obviously being a junior you have another year left, but how important was it for you guys to take a big step this season in terms of success and making a run in the tournament?

A. Obviously I don’t want to think about next year yet because we feel like we have a lot of unfinished business to do this year, but it’s definitely a positive that our returners for next year are getting some tournament experience. Hopefully we can make it a trend to make it to the NCAAs.

Q. How do you grade your season so far? And how would you grade your play in the playoffs this past weekend?

A. I feel as though I’ve had a solid season because our team has had a solid season. I love the feeling of winning, and knowing I contributed to a win is also a pretty sweet feeling. We all played well this weekend as a team, [and] when we play well as a team and work together it’s when we play our best basketball. When Alex got into foul trouble against WPI we knew we had to step up and it just so happened my shots were falling, so it gave me the confidence to keep that going.

Q. How did it feel to beat MIT, and what do you think the key was for your personal success?

A. Beating MIT is awesome. They were the preseason number one team in the nation, so beating them twice this year proves that we deserve to be in this tournament and it gives our squad confidence in beating every team out there. We basically know their plays and know their players’ tendencies by heart throughout all the battles we’ve had against them, so my contribution to the team came from crashing the boards, cleaning up the glass, and getting easy put backs.

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