Young team hopes to vault to success
When Towson’s past season ended at the NCAA South Central Regional meet, there was a sense of optimism and hope for the next season.
However, the team lost five seniors to graduation, including East Coast Athletic Conference and Southeast Regional Gymnast of the Year Kacy Catanzaro.
“We lost a lot of routines, so people on the team will need to step up and compete in events that they haven’t in the past,” Head Coach Vicki Chliszczyk said. “[Losing the seniors] will only make us stronger, to the point where when the freshmen are juniors and seniors, they’ll be just as experienced as our seniors were.”
Towson welcomes a cast composed of 40 percent freshmen, including Abby Griswold, Erin Odom and Rebecca Osmer. This year’s squad only features two seniors, Maria Braune and Britney Russell.
“We have a lot of inexperience on our team as far as competing collegiately, so it’s going to be a building year,” Chliszczyk said. “We need to get some more competitive experience before we can see ourselves going to the top of [the conference].”
The Tigers will look to continue their success at the Towson Center, where they posted an undefeated record last year. Towson racked up four road meet wins as well, finishing at 20-5 and coming in second in the ECAC.
This year, however, the Tigers will return to the East Atlantic Gymnastics League to compete with the likes of Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia and others.
“[The EAGL] is definitely a tougher conference in terms of the teams that are in it, with more teams making the regional tournament,” Chliszczyk said. “But we are going to maximize our score as much we can.”
Chliszczyk said the goal for her team is to score upwards of 194 points in competitions, something that they achieved four times last year.
She also said she expects the bars team, a weakness last year, to be deeper and score higher.
“We are going to go into meets just trying to hit our routines and do the best of each routine that we can do, and that will define whether we feel that we are successful or not,” Chliszczyk said. “Our goal is to walk into events with teams that we’ve never competed against and hold our own and show that we belong there.”
Towson will travel to William & Mary for its first meet of the year Saturday, Jan. 12. The Tigers will make their Towson Center debut Jan. 26, hosting Bridgeport, Lindenwood and Ursinus.