Wilson recently sent two gymnasts to compete in the National Collegiate Gymnastics Championships (NCGA) for the first time in Phoenix history.
Junior, captain, Sam Vance '11 and freshman Rebekka Williams '13 competed at the National College Gymnastics Association Division III National Championship at Springfield College this past weekend.
Vance finished 19th in the nation on floor exercise and 17th place in the all-around with a score of 34.65. Freshman Williams competed in two events and finished 21st on bars with a score of 9.1. These rankings are their final national rankings and are out of 56 competitors who qualified for nationals.
The championship is a competition for all of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III gymnastics programs in the country. The best three teams in each conference, the best four individuals in each event and in all-around qualify to this competition. Vance qualified to compete in all four events this year while Williams qualified to compete on bars and floor.
“This is the first time since 2005 that we have sent anyone to Nationals and the first time in the school's history that we are sending two athletes. Sam and Alex are the fourth and fifth athlete to compete at Nationals in the school's history. Going to this meet is the greatest accomplishment in our sport at this division,” says head coach Amy Martelli.
The Phoenix galvanized for future successes
Everyone is excited for Sam and Alex. They have worked hard to get to Nationals,” says Beth Bush ’11. She continues: “It is a great opportunity not only for them as individuals but will also help our team in the future.”
With much of the hard work behind for the season, the Phoenix can now relax and enjoy their success, alongside the recent success of Coach Martelli.
“We are very proud of our athletes and their performance, says Athletic Director Lori Frey, “under Head Coach Amy Martelli, our gymnastics program is moving to new heights.”
In her fourth year coaching at Wilson College, Amy Martelli received the 2010 Coach of the Year (ECAC). Martelli is a member of the National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judges (NAWGJ) and has been a gymnastics judge for over 15 years. The award is given to a coach for their contributions to gymnastics.
At the ECAC’s website it states that Martelli received the award because she “has helped her team with both technique and skills, notably visible in her team’s overall score. This season, her coaching techniques have helped her gymnasts become stronger all-around performers. Other coaches see Martelli’s dedication, passion, and effort to improve Wilson’s gymnastic program.”
Martelli admits that winning Coach of the Year award was a huge shock to her, but also a huge honor. “It is one of the greatest achievements of my career and one which will always be very special to me,” says Martelli.
“Amy really earned the Coach of the Year Award,” says gymnast Mandy Grahn ’13. “As a team, we turned heads this year. People started to notice us and really started to support us and what we are trying to build. Amy has done and is continuing to do a great job on building the program and other teams are really starting to respect her as coach. She’s a miracle worker for us this year!”
Overall, Wilson gymnasts had a good season this year breaking records and, finishing particularly very strong at the end of the season. At the home meet on Sun, March 7, Sam Vance broke a long standing Wilson record for the highest floor score, earning a 9.575. At the last meet of the season, the Wilson gymnastics team made history by beating Rhode Island College and winning a meet for the first time in history.
“For me personally, the meet against Rhode Island was one of the greatest days of my career,” says Martelli. “I got to see our team not only beat other teams, but really look like we fit in. Our athletes handled the pressure like seasoned veterans and I feel we really showed our passion for our sport and our love for our team! We were all moving toward one ultimate goal and to see that goal achieved was pure magic. It was an amazing day with an amazing team! I couldn’t be more proud!” said Martelli.
Wilson College can be very proud of this year’s gymnastics team and staff who accomplished so much during the past several months. Wilson gymnastics program has made its name well-known in the gymnastics college community.