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NAIGC Gymnastics: MIT Invitational

CAMBRIDGE, MA-A unique NAIGC gymnastics contest took place in duPont Gymnasium Saturday afternoon as the MIT Club Gymnastics team hosted a variety of area teams. Cambridge Community Gymnastics gave those not directly affiliated with MIT a place to keep their skills going. The Rutgers, Rhode Island, Northeastern, and Boston University teams also made the trip. Two gymnasts from Central Connecticut State University and one from UConn also were on hand. The club side does put more emphasis on having fun, but there were plenty of great skills on display. The NAIGC (National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs) members host meets throughout the winter season often consisting of a multitude of schools.

Due to the meet format, once competition began, the action was nonstop with at least a few apparatus being active at any one time, as the others held warm up. In the NAIGC, the skill levels vary from those who are relative beginners to those throwing skills one would find on a varsity level. It is critical to remember that even what might be considered “basic” gymnastics elements are feats of great skills

MIT’s team is a mix of current student as well as alums and affiliates of the school. Also of note is that former MIT varsity standout gymnast, and recent mother, Julia Sharpe competes on the men’s events. Sharpe was on one of the last MIT varsity teams. Her husband Nate is also on the team. Though both squads are large and filled with talented athletes.

MIT’s club team rose from the ashes of varsity sports cuts several years ago. MIT cut ten varsity sports but transitioned and assisted the club teams that remained. MIT quickly put together a men’s and women’s team which competed at NAIGC meets as well as appeared at several varsity meets, hosted by schools like Brown and Springfield College. MIT on Facebook

URI was another team which recently came about after the University of Rhode Island cut the Gymnastics program. Lead by team members like Erika Sloan, Lindsay Diamond and others, the club was built into one of the strongest in the NAIGC. Years later, many of their gymnasts are still throwing high level skills and the roster is large. URI on Facebook URI on Twitter

At Rutgers, their varsity program is still going strong, but the club team is filled with a large number of committed athletes. RU on Facebook Rutgers on Twitter

Boston University has been a club team for a very long time, so long that they were hosted as a club by the varsity MIT team traditionally every year. They field gymnasts in both the men’s and women’s disciplines. Boston U on Facebook BU on Twitter

Northeastern is a very new club team, and continues the latest in the Boston area to join NAIGC competition. Northeastern on Facebook NU on Twitter

Cambridge Community Gymnastics is the lone non-collegiate program, but has numerous gymnasts as well. The team is part of a larger gymnastics school essentially. CCG brought competitors for both the men’s and women’s side for the meet. CCG on Facebook

CCSU’s program is very new as a few students are trying to get things going at Central. On Saturday two male students competed representing the Blue Devils.

UConn has a very large team and has been going for a while, though in this case only one team member attended from the Men’s side.

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