Gymnastics: WVU Picked No. 3 in EAGL

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • January 04, 2012 01:57 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Poised for its 2012 campaign under first-year coach Jason Butts, the West Virginia University gymnastics team was picked third in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) preseason poll.

Votes were cast by the league’s eight head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams.

NC State was chosen first for the second-straight year. The Wolfpack earned 42 points, including two first-place votes. Two-time defending champion North Carolina earned three first-place votes and was selected second with 40 points.

The Mountaineers earned 38 points, including two first-place votes. The squad also was picked third in last year’s poll, the league’s first-ever.

“This outcome was what I expected,” says Butts. “We are a young team, and we have a lot to prove and must earn respect. I have no doubt that this squad is ready to accept that challenge.”

Maryland (34 points) and New Hampshire (31 points) round out the top five, with the Wildcats securing the final first-place vote. Pitt (16 points), Rutgers (14 points) and George Washington (9 points) were ranked sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

WVU returns to the gym following a 13-10 season a year ago. The Mountaineers finished in fourth place at the EAGL Championship and placed sixth at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, the squad’s 33rd regional appearance.

The Mountaineers open their season and play host to preseason-ranked No. 13 Penn State and Maryland on Sunday, Jan. 8, at the WVU Coliseum at 2 p.m. The meet is a “Dollar Day,” with all tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and Coca-Colas available for purchase for just one dollar. Additionally, the meet also is “Poster Day” with the 2012 WVU team poster available for all fans to pick up.