PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Brown gymnastics team celebrated its 2013 season on Monday, May 6th with its annual awards banquet, held this year at Fleming's Steakhouse in Providence. Head coach Sara Carver-Milne honored seven gymnasts with team awards over the course of the evening, and the Bears also took the time to recognize the accomplishments of the team, including the first Ivy Classic team title in 23 years and the first-ever team selection to the USAG Collegiate Nationals. Additionally, they honored the dedication and contributions of the Brown gymnastics class of 2013: Nicole Abdo (Largo, FL), Kasey Haas (Charlotte, NC), Lauren Hall (Charlton, MA), Emily Lutfey (Los Angeles, CA) and Julia Meyer (Granite City, IL).
Junior Michelle Shnayder (Lincolnshire, IL) and senior Nicole Abdo (Largo, FL) were both honored with the team's Most Valuable Gymnast Award, recognizing all that they have contributed to Brown Gymnastics in a season full of impressive performances.
Shnayder, a recipient of this award for the second consecutive season, was named ECAC Gymnast of the Week for her stellar showing at the 2013 Ivy Classic, as she won the all-around title at the competition, turning in a career-high score of 38.850. She had several impressive performances throughout the course of the day, and earned first team All-Ivy Classic on vault and in the all-around, as well as second team All-Ivy Classic on beam and floor. The Academic All-Ivy selection continued her phenomenal season with a fourth place finish in the all-around at the 2013 ECAC Championships, earning second team All-ECAC honors, and played a big part in qualifying the Bears to USAG Collegiate Nationals, where she led the team through the qualifying session.
Abdo, a consistent presence in the Bears' line-up throughout her four-year career, turned in critical performances on the bars, beam and floor this season, often earning the team's top scores. She holds career-highs of 9.850 on bars, just shy of the Brown school record of 9.875, 9.800 on beam and 9.800 on floor. In Brown's triumphant appearance at the Ivy Classic, she earned first team All-Ivy Classic on floor with a career-high score, as well as second team All-Ivy Classic on bars and beam. She also played a crucial role in qualifying the team to USAG Collegiate Nationals, turning in a season-high score on the bars during the team finals.
Senior Julia Meyer (Granite City, IL) was the recipient of this year's Most Improved Award. A steady contributor throughout the season, Meyer was honored with the ECAC Specialist of the Week award on two separate occasions. On February 23rd, she played a huge role in the Bears' Ivy Classic win, finishing second on beam with a career high of 9.825 and earning first team All-Ivy Classic for her routine. All of these impressive performances led up to her success at the USAG Collegiate Nationals, as Meyer helped Brown qualify to team finals while also earning a spot in the event finals on beam. Competing against ten other elite finalists, she earned a fifth-place medal and first team USAG All-American accolades.
Freshman Alexandra Chretien (Commerce Township, MI) received the Most Consistent Award, recognizing her impressively dependable contributions on bars throughout the season. The rookie could always be counted on to put up a big routine, and she earned a career-high score of 9.775 in a meet at UNH in March. At the 2013 Ivy Classic, she was Brown's first performer on the apparatus and received the top score for the Bears, taking third place with a career-high and earning first team All-Ivy Classic. Chretien nabbed ECAC Rookie of the Week honors for that performance. She was equally impressive at the USAG Collegiate Nationals, helping the squad advance to team finals as she, once again, was awarded the Bears' top score on bars.
Freshman Alexa Cohen (Henrico, VA) earned the team's Bruno Award, given to the gymnast who displays the best sportsmanship, team spirit and positive motivation throughout the season. Cohen, an ECAC All-Academic team member, did not compete for the Bears this year, but her positive and supportive presence was felt at every practice and competition, making her a huge part of the team's success.
Freshman Stephanie Choo (Centerville, OH) was honored with the Unsung Hero Award, acknowledging her battle to be a significant contributor to the team in spite of the challenges she faced. Choo earned the ECAC Coaches' Choice award in March after turning in a personal best score of 9.600 in a meet at Southern Connecticut. The rookie had battled a heart condition all year, limiting her practices and cutting her training back to one event. She hit her very first routine in competition to earn the weekly award, and then went on to turn in many great performances on bars for the rest of the season, including a career-high 9.675 in the team finals at the USAG Collegiate Nationals.
Freshman Corey Holman (Westford, MA) received the Bears' final team award, Rookie of the Year. Holman competed in three events for Brown this year and was the starting gymnast in each line-up. Always able to put up a high score and set the team up for success, she posted career-high marks of 9.775 on beam, 9.725 on floor and 9.725 on vault. She earned second team All-Ivy Classic on vault, helping Brown win the team title, and also contributed significantly to the Bears' success at the USAG Collegiate Nationals. The ECAC All-Academic team member was named ECAC Rookie of the Week in January, and helped the team break school records on vault and floor this season.
In addition, all six freshmen were awarded their brown letter sweaters for their contributions to the team, while all five seniors received white letter sweaters as four-year varsity letter recipients.