Three Sign with WVU Gymnastics

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • November 17, 2013 04:16 PM
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"I chose WVU because I fell in love with everything the school has to offer - a great team, great coaches and a great academic program! After visiting Morgantown, I couldn't see myself anywhere else."  Robyn Bernard
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University gymnastics coach Jason Butts announced today that Robyn Bernard, Zaakira Muhammad and Alexa Phillip have signed National Letters of Intent to compete at WVU next fall. Additionally, Amanda Bowman will join the Mountaineers has an invited walk-on.
“This is a very exciting year for WVU gymnastics,” says third-year Mountaineer coach Jason Butts. “We are a program that is looking to take the next step, and these four gymnasts compliment one another perfectly.
“As a staff, we always look to bring in talent to improve the WVU program and to represent the University to the best of our ability. This class is exciting because they have the talent we seek in combination with the work ethic and personality that will make all Mountaineers proud.”
Bernard, a native of Germantown, Md., is a level 10 gymnast out of Hill’s Gymnastics, the same gym as Mountaineer junior Dayah Haley. A four-time Junior Olympics national qualifier, she finished ninth in the all-around at the 2012 JO National Invitational Tournament with a second-place finish on vault and a fifth-place finish on beam. Most recently, she finished fifth on beam at the 2013 Region 7 Championship. Prior to that finish, she won beam and finished second in the all-around at the 2012 Maryland State Championship and finished ninth in the all-around at the Region 7 Championship. Most recently, Bernard finished fifth on beam at the 2013 Region 7 Championship.
"I love the WVU campus, the gymnastics team and the coaches. It's already my home away from home." 
Zaakira Muhammad
“We knew Robyn was going to be a tremendous athlete in college from our first visit to her gym,” says Butts. “She has a great line and impressive skill level on each event. When she decided to join us at WVU, we were immediately thrilled, and we have been excited ever since.”
A native of Pennsauken, N.J., Muhammad is a six-year level 10 gymnast out of TNT Elite Gymnastics. She was a three-time champion at the 2012 JO National Invitational Tournament, finishing first in all-around, beam and floor. A Region 7 Championship qualifier, Muhammad finished fourth on bars at the 2010 Championship. She also won floor at the 2010 New Jersey State Championship and finished fifth on bars and sixth in the all-around. 
“Zaakira does not have a weakness in the sport,” explains Butts. “She has the ability to come in as a freshman and compete on each event. She is a hard worker and has options on every event to be a standout.”
"I didn't know what to expect, but the minute I stepped on to the WVU campus, I was filled with excitement. The team has embraced me, and I already feel like a Mountaineer!"  Alexa Phillip
Phillip, a four-year level 10 gymnast out of Galaxy Gymnastics, is a native of Bergenfield, N.J. A three-time JO National Invitational qualifier, she finished 10th on floor at the 2013 championships. Previously, she placed 11th on bars at the 2012 and 2010 championships. She won bars at the 2013 Region 6 Championships and also finished second on floor, third in the all-around, sixth on beam and ninth on vault. Phillip also won bars at the 2012 Region 6 Championships and finished second floor and the all-around, third on beam and fourth on vault.
“I am looking for Alexa to do great things,” says Butts. “She will be a crowd favorite with her charisma and the ease she exudes when competing gymnastics. When she stepped on campus, we knew she was a fit for this program, and she has embraced the Mountaineer family since day one.”
A native of Charleston, W.Va., Bowman is a three-year level 10 gymnast out of Revolution Gymnastics, the same gym as current Mountaineer senior Jamie Judge and former Mountaineer and NCAA Championships individual qualifier Mehgan Morris. Recently, she placed ninth on vault at the 2013 Region 7 Championships. She qualified for the 2012 JO National Championships, and one month prior to the competition, she finished fifth on vault, eighth in the all-around and ninth on bars at the 2012 Region 7 Championships.
“Amanda knows Mountaineer gymnastics, and she has grown up around this program,” Butts says. “Her gymnastics is dynamic and clean, which is always a great combination for collegiate competition. I have zero doubts that her best gymnastics is going to be ahead of her, and I can’t wait for her years as a WVU gymnast.”
"Growing up in West Virginia, my goal has always been to follow in the footsteps of my former teammates and compete for WVU!" 
Amanda Bowman