MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University gymnastics team opened the 2014 season today with its first official practice at Cary Gym.
“I’m excited to finally have structure in our practices. As I told the team yesterday, today is the official kickoff to the 2014 campaign,” says third-year coach Jason Butts. “The gymnasts have been working hard in our unofficial practices and at their strength and conditioning sessions. I think they’re ready for the structure and the assignments. Now, we can move forward with putting routines together and holding intrasquads.
“Our preseason is all about getting this team mentally prepared for the season and building their confidence. Getting competition-ready is a really long process, so I’m glad we have some time.”
The Mountaineers will hold their skills tests today and Thursday, and their first structured practice session on Friday.
WVU returns 10 letterwinners from a 2013 team that finished its first Big 12 Conference season at 13-9, including a 1-3 record in league competition. Tops among the returners are five seniors: Makenzie Bristol
, Amanda Carpenter
, Hope Sloanhoffer
, Erica Smith
and Bethany Yurko
The 2013 Mountaineers scored 196.0 or better in every home meet, the first WVU gymnastics team to achieve the feat. The five 196.0+ scores were one short of the school record. WVU finished third at its first Big 12 Gymnastics Championships and fifth at the 2013 NCAA Morgantown Regional Championships.
Director of Athletics Oliver Luck is expected to announce the team’s 2014 schedule in the coming weeks.