The William and Mary gymnastics team enters the upcoming 2012 campaign on the verge of putting together one of the finest seasons in the long and storied history of Tribe gymnastics. A team trip to the NCAA Championships is certainly within the realm of possibilities as is winning the College Gymnastics Association's national academic championship for a fifth time. Outstanding student-athletes both in the gym and in the classroom, William and Mary will continue to have the most individually honored Academic All-American Scholar Athletes since the inception of the team awards in 1991.
All-arounders Daniel Potemski, J.J. Jindra, and Futa Ikeda along with four event specialist Landon Funiciello will lead the Tribe gymnasts from a scoring perspective. After earning USA Gymnastics Collegiate All-American honors in the all-around and on pommel horse as a freshman last season, Potemski returns ready to provide a consistent and sensible presence with his well-constructed routines and positive competitive approach. Although just a freshman Jindra, who was one of the top 15 all-arounders at the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic National competition prior to joining the Tribe, brings enthusiasm with talent to the mix and will give the team a major boost during his first collegiate campaign. Ikeda, a junior who will be graduating with a degree in neuroscience in just three years, will provide solid scores to go with his always energizing presence. He currently ranks fifth in the all-around and eighth on pommel horse in the all-time W&M record book. Funiciello, the incredibly hard-working sophomore, will be a team leader on floor exercise, vaulting, parallel bars, and especially on rings, his favorite event, where he became the Tribe's first freshman NCAA All-American with his sixth place finish at the championships last season.
Seniors Steve Deutsch, Dan Melzar, and Jonathan Prohov will provide leadership as elected tri-captains. Deutsch was a USA Gymnastics Collegiate champion on the rings and also a USAG All-American on pommel horse as well as a first team Academic All-American Scholar Athlete. Melzar, who excels on vaulting, is preparing for a pre-medical post baccalaureate program as a second team CGA All-American Scholar Athlete while also serving as a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. Prohov's best events are pommel horse and rings where he was an ECAC finalist. He ranks ninth in our all-time records on both events. As an international relations major specializing in the Middle East, Prohov is interested in serving his country through a position in the State Department after graduation.
Kris Yeager and Matt Burns are both juniors and second team Academic All-American Scholar Athletes. Yeager has an all-time top ten score for the Tribe on both pommel horse and parallel bars while Burns excels on floor exercise and vaulting. While neither competed last season, sophomores Blake Erickson and Sam Patterson combined with Potemski and Funiciello to enable the sophomore class post an absolutely remarkable 3.8 grade point average during fall semester. Erickson will continue to train the all-around, while Patterson is in process of becoming a virtuoso on the parallel bars and providing solid scores on rings and high bar. Michael Deitz, Jason Wang, and Peter Ten Eyck helped the freshman class combine for an outstanding 3.5 grade point average during their first semester. Deitz will see lots of action on floor exercise, vaulting, and high bar while Wang and Ten Eyck will initially leave their mark on pommel horse.