The Bears Gear Up For the 2005-06 Season

Jan. 17, 2006

The 2005 gymnastics season closed with Brown's first-ever showing at the USAG Collegiate Nationals. Melissa Forziat `05 represented Brown on floor, while juniors Sarah Cavett and Amber Smith qualified on bars and in the all-around, respectively. Smith and Cavett are ready to help their entire team qualify for USAG Nationals this season as the Bears return a total of six seniors.

Leading the Bears this year will be senior co-captains Mandi Baughman and Smith. Baughman and Smith took charge in the pre-season, leading the team through captains' practices, cardio workouts and strength training. The hard work has paid off and the team is strong, healthy and ready for a successful season. Smith will be one of Brown's strongest competitors in the all-around once again, while Baughman continues to be a top competitor on the beam and floor.

Cavett will be depended upon again on bars and will add depth to the beam line-up as well. Jessica McNell continues to improve her vault and bar routines, and has worked hard in the off-season to develop new skills on the beam and floor, as she looks to compete in the all-around. Jessica Pouchet is one of the toughest competitors the Bears have and going into her final season she plans to hold nothing back. Back for her final season, Miriam Straus is ready to compete on bars, beam and floor for the Bears.

The junior class will look to make their presence felt early, including Caryn Leventhal and Kate Slawsky who are both eager to break into this season's line-up. Leventhal spent first semester studying in Denmark and is working hard to get back into the line-up later this season.

Sophomores Sarah Durning, Hannah Goldstein and Jessica Pestronk will make a big impact this year. Competing for most of the 2005 season, Durning was the Bear's top scorer on vault last season and also one of the top performers on beam and floor. Goldstein has improved her vault and bar routine and has added a new series to her beam routine. Head Coach Sara Carver-Milne thinks Pestronk will make the biggest impact on the beam and floor and will remain consistent through out the season.

The freshmen class is filled with talent and eagerness to compete. Brittany Anderson and Jen Sobuta bring National experience with them to Brown and will both compete in the all-around for the Bears. Rachel Foodman and Whitney Diederich will also add depth to the line-ups on each event. Foodman is strongest on vault and floor, while Diederich's specialties include beam and floor.

The 2005-2006 season offers many great opportunities for the Bears as they will host the Ivy Classic on February 26 and stay in Rhode Island for the ECAC Championships at URI. Certainly the hometown crowds will help the Bears to victories at the two most important competitions of the season.