Conference champs focus for Knights
After a trip to North Carolina last weekend that seemed cursed from the start, the Rutgers gymnastics team looks to rebound in New Hampshire. This weekend, the Scarlet Knights compete in the Eastern Atlantic Gymnastic League Championships.
While the field at the EAGL Championships features several schools that possess superior funding, the Knights attempts to compete and produce a good result.
In the field are several schools that Rutgers already faced this season as the Scarlet Knights are especially looking to improving upon their result against North Carolina. After a disappointing performance in Chapel Hill, N.C., head coach Chrystal Chollet-Norton believes her team will come out stronger.
"It was just a terrible time," Chollet-Norton said of the trip to North Carolina. "The girls knew they needed to get back in the gym and work."
Other added motivation is getting the opportunity to compete against two teams that are rivals of the Knights — Pittsburgh and George Washington. Chollet-Norton believes those are two teams that her squad will be able to keep up with and potentially beat.
"I think we can hang in there with Pittsburgh and GW," Chollet-Norton said. "We lost to Pittsburgh earlier this year, but that was when they were at home. Now we are in the same boat."
All season long, Chollet-Norton talked about the gap in funding between Rutgers gymnastics and many of their competitors as an inspiration for her girls.
At the EAGL Championships, Chollet-Norton hopes that her team can beat one of those fully funded schools.
"It would be a really nice boost for us if we could beat a team that is fully funded," Chollet-Norton said.
While the Knights already accomplished their goal of qualifying for USA Nationals, Chollet-Norton is making sure her team does not look past the field this weekend.
"We want to do well at EAGL," Chollet-Norton said. "If we perform well, we can use this score toward nationals."
Not only can the score be used toward Nationals, the experience of competing in a pressure meet provides the team with practice to compensate for the demands of Nationals.
"It's going to be training for Nationals too," Chollet-Norton said. "We are going to be in a big time meet situation. "