Gymnastics to Hold Gold-Blue Intrasquad

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • December 06, 2013 03:56 PM
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Coach Jason Butts
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University gymnastics team will hold its annual Gold-Blue intrasquad on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m., at the WVU Coliseum.
The meet is open to the public, and admission is free.
“The team is very excited for Sunday – this meet forces us out of our comfort zone and gives us an opportunity to compete in front of a crowd,” says third-year coach Jason Butts. “It’s good to get this experience now as opposed to our first official competition of the season.
“Sunday is our final push toward the 2014 season. Having this intrasquad one month before our first official meet gives us three weeks to identify where we are having trouble and to make adjustments. We’re also going to see how our freshmen will compete in a big arena – this is all new for them. I’m most excited to see who is going to step up and lead us this year.”  
The Mountaineers will divide into two squads, and four gymnasts from each team will compete head-to-head on each event. Three celebrity judges – former Mountaineer gymnast Alaska Richardson, 37-year Mountaineer coach Linda Burdette-Good and WVU men’s basketball assistant to the head coach Billy Hahn – will declare a winner from each pairing, and a point will be awarded to the victor. A final team winner will be declared at the end of the meet, but no individual winners will be recognized.
“We love having a big crowd at this meet because it puts us under pressure and simulates what we will encounter in January,” says Butts. “I also think this meet is a really fun, family event. We have three entertaining celebrity judges coming in, and I know they’re going to add a lot of fun and excitement to the meet.”
Seventeen Mountaineers will take to the floor this Sunday, led by seniors Amanda Carpenter, Hope Sloanhoffer, Erica Smith and Bethany Yurko. Additional key returners include juniors Beth Deal, Dayah Haley and Lia Salzano, and sophomore Jaida Lawrence, a 2013 All-Big 12 Vault honoree.
Seven gymnasts are set for their WVU debut: sophomore transfer Lindsey Litten and freshmen Brooklyn Doggette, Alexa Goldberg, Emma Lasker, Mackenzie Myers, Rachel Sine and Nicolette Swoboda.
“We were so prepared for our Fall Classic intrasquad that we haven’t really changed much since November,” Butts explains. “We rested last week and returned to full routines this week without missing a beat. We’re going to see a lot of the same gymnastics we saw at the Fall Classic, but in a different environment.”
Coach Butts and the Mountaineers are one month away from their 2014 season opener on Jan. 10 at Kentucky, with Penn State and Ball State. WVU returns to competition following a 13-9 2013 campaign that saw the squad score 196.0 or better in each of its home competitions, a feat never previously achieved in program history. The Mountaineers went 1-3 in their first season in the Big 12 Conference and placed fifth at the NCAA Morgantown Regional Championships with a 194.475 score.
Fans unable to attend the meet can follow the Mountaineers Sunday via a free WebStream presented by Kroger . Former gymnast Kara (Weaver) Turnbull and Joe Mitchin will provide analysis on all home meet streams this season.
Gold Team
Blue Team