Updated Wed, Apr 18, 2012 1:03 pm
The Ohio University Club Gymnastics Team is off to the National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs National Competition in Salt Lake City, UT.
The team of twenty-two flew out today and will begin competing on Thursday.
The three-day competition consists of hundreds of teams including OU rival, Miami University.
“No matter where they go, they always want to beat Miami,” said Natalie Page, president of the gymnastics team.
Since September, the team has been training three times per week at the Global Gymnastics Center in Nelsonville.
Tryouts are held every year and the women are placed on the A, B or C team depending on their scores at tryouts.
In past years, the team has done well, but Page thinks members of the A team will place high this year.
The events held this weekend include vault, bars, floor and beam.
“Even though winning is important, my favorite thing about being on this team is how close you get to the girls,” said OU Sophomore Francesca Pescara. Pescara competes in vault, beam and floor events.
Each girl has a big and a little sister to promote team bonding.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors on the team support the freshman little sisters.
Big and little sisters exchange words of encouragement or small presents before competitions for good luck.
Pescara said she is excited because the competition will take place at Salt Palace Convention Center, the same facility where the winter olympics were held in 2002.
To qualify for nationals, the team had to compete at two competitions.
Traveling to competitions, especially nationals, requires the team to fundraise year-round.
The team works at Cedar Point during Halloween, holds carwashes and sells t-shirts, chocolate bars and candles.
The women must also complete 20 hours of community service in order to receive funding from the university.