RIC Gymnastics Sparked By Newcomers

By Kamran Alemdar, RIC Athletic Media Relations


A trio of freshmen has strongly contributed to the young and promising Rhode Island College gymnastics team in the form of Melissa Jones of Cranston, Hannah Scott of Deep River, CT and Kristina Lemanis of Smithtown, NY.


Although all of the newcomers are going through major adjustments adapting to being a part of a collegiate program, they all feel that the experience has been a positive one. “In high school, competition was more individual than here. I like competing as a team better and it is a lot more motivating,” Jones said. Lemanis and Scott both agreed and said that the team aspect of college gymnastics is the biggest difference from competing in high school. “There are a lot more meets and practices here in college, compared to high school and club, which I like,” Scott said about the transition.


Lemanis has been concentrating on uneven bars, while Scott and Jones both have been competing in the all-around. “I would say that my strongest event is vault, while bars by far is the toughest,” Jones said. Scott said she is very happy to be competing in the all-around, although it is very hard work. “The balance beam is my strongest event, while vault is the toughest for me,” Scott said.


All three ladies are dedicated to improving as a team, but also individually as the season transpires. “The goal for this year is to get a 180.000 team score, while I am striving to get scores of 9.000 on every event,” Scott said. Lemanis wants the team to do well in the ECACs, while she hopes to improve her overall skills, which Lemanis is hoping will result in her being able to compete in the all-around for next season.


Because of the scarcity of Division III gymnastics programs in the Northeast, RIC has been competing against Division I and II schools. “Our tough schedule has definitely helped us and made our team more motivated while competing. We scored really well when we competed against the University of Brockport, a Division II school last week,” Scott said.


The RIC newcomers look up to veteran captains, Michaela Hogan and Caren Normandin, for their leadership and guidance. All three freshmen agree that their captains are very good role models who show great dedication and work ethic. The Anchorwomen hope to do well on Saturday, Feb. 14 as they travel to take on Division II, Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.


The RIC women's gymnastics team is 3-5 overall, and is 3-4 against ECAC Division III opponents. The Anchorwomen are coming off a 173.375-162.350 victory over Wilson College on Feb. 8.