GymDawgs Wrap Up Regular Season At Home Against San Jose State
SEATTLE, Wash.-- The Washington gymnastics team is back at home on Friday, March 11 at 6 p.m. against San Jose State. The meet will be a senior night celebration for the four graduating GymDawgs.
"I want the seniors to just soak it all in," said Head Coach Jen Llewellyn. "The last two years have been really unique, in not having normal sports competitions, so they are just so thankful that we have fans and for the opportunity to have their families there."
Geneva Thompson, after deciding last minute to return as a fifth year, has been an integral part of the GymDawgs, using her expertise and leadership skills to guide and mentor this young team.
"Geneva [Thompson] has been amazing," said Llewellyn. "I am so thankful and grateful she decided to come back. I am just thankful she took a chance on us and took a chance for the team. Watching her journey this year, with her persistence and resilience has been a joy to watch. I hope she feels great closure with the sport after this year, with gymnastics and her time as a GymDawg."
The always consistent, Amara Cunningham, has come into her own in her final season in purple and gold. She may not always be the loudest in the room, but her ability to lead by example and be the teams rock has been so important for the consistency and learning curve throughout the season for this team.
"Amara [Cunningham] has been the steadiest person and competitor and consistent athlete I have ever worked with in my entire life," said Llewellyn. "It is remarkable, she is the same person every day. Never too high or too low, when she steps into the gym, she just takes care of business. She is the perfect example of what you would want in a student-athlete. She is a quiet leader but leads by example."
After taking a full season off gymnastics, due to injury, Brenna Brooks returned with a new mindset and outlook on gymnastics and as a leader.
"Watching her transform this year, from the summer when she didn't know if she was going to compete, to now contributing on three events has been remarkable," said Llewellyn. "On beam she is rock-solid for us, she sets the tone for the judges and for the team."
Finally, senior Madeline McLellan, a team manager for the Huskies, has helped UW in and outside of the gym this season.
"Maddy has been very instrumental as a support system for the team," said Llewellyn. "She is very level-headed and compassionate. She has a really great technical eye, too, so that is very helpful from a coaching standpoint."
Beyond the senior recognition and celebration, this meet will be a quad meet, featuring the Washington men's gymnastics team.
"We need to perform with everything we have," said Llewellyn. "We practice really well, so we just need to continue to build off what we did on Sunday and perform like we are capable of.
This competition will be the final regular season meet of the year for the GymDawgs. On Saturday, March 19, the post-season will begin with Washington competing in the Pac-12 Championships in West Valley City, Utah.
"It has been a great year," said Llewellyn. "We have had a lot of highs, some lows, and we just found our groove. I am proud of the resilience our team has had. Going into our last regular season meet, I am really excited."
Make sure to follow the GymDawgs on Twitter with the username @UWGymnastics and on Instagram at uwgymnastics.