March 18, 2023
Williamsburg, VA – The Gymnastics East Conference announced the winners of its six major end of season awards on Saturday night following the conclusion of its second GEC Championship.
Six student-athletes and three coaches were honored with awards, including Tiara DeTommaso of West Chester University who was selected as the Gymnastics East Conference Woman of the Year, and Penn coach Kirsten Becker who was tabbed as the second GEC Head Coach of the Year.
The GEC Woman of the Year candidates were nominated by their respective teams and the winner selected by a committee of coaches and administrators from each school. Nominees were rated based on academic achievement, service and leadership, and a personal statement. Woman of the Year nominees must hold a minimum 3.25 GPA and be a team member for at least three years. The remaining awards were selected by a vote involving the league’s eight head coaches.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Marissa Lassiter (Penn)
Marissa Lassiter has been a steady competitor for the Penn Quakers on three events in her first year. The two-time GEC Newcomer of the Week has been a constant in the vault, bars and floor lineups this season. She holds an NQS of 9.785 on vault, ranking 5th in the GEC, a 9.740 on bars for a 12th place rank, and a 9.805 floor to rank her 5th in the conference. Marissa recorded season-high scores of 9.825 on vault, 9.8 on bars, and 9.875 on floor. Lassiter's efforts earned her First Team All-GEC on vault and floor, and Second Team All-GEC on bars in her debut season. Marissa is only one of two Penn gymnasts to have an NQS on 3 events this season and has been a key contributor all season long.
CO-SPECIALISTS OF THE YEAR
McCaleigh Marr (Penn)
Senior McCaleigh Marr has been a staple in Penn's bars and beam lineups all year long, anchoring both events for the Quakers. Marr's NQS for both bars and beam are currently ranked 1st in the GEC with a 9.85 and a 9.84 respectively. She has season high scores of 9.9 on bars and 9.95 on beam, which ties Penn’s individual beam record that she herself set last season of a near perfect 9.95. McCaleigh earned First Team All-GEC honors on both bars and beam. McCaleigh Marr has etched her name into the record books for Penn, contributing to multiple overall team records with her stand out performances.
Julia Bedell (Brown)
Sophomore and two time GEC Specialist of the Week, Julia Bedell, has been a rock for the Brown Bears this season. She has anchored the floor lineup in every competition for Brown this year, earning six scores of 9.8 or better, including a record tying 9.925 twice. Julia is ranked 2nd on vault in the GEC with an NQS of 9.806 and a high score of 9.85, and ranked 1st on floor with a 9.845 NQS, earning her First Team All-GEC honors on both events.
PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Raegan Walker (Yale)
Raegan Walker has been a key player in Yale’s bar lineup since the beginning of this season and her entire career at Yale. She worked extremely hard in preseason on hitting handstands, keeping form throughout the routine, and sticking dismounts in order to receive the highest score possible. She has consistently performed in the Bulldog’s 5th spot, earning five scores of a 9.825 or better. In particular, Raegan shined at the Ivy Classic hitting her best routine of the season, scoring a near perfect 9.95. She received a perfect 10.0 score from one judge, which ultimately led her to tie her career-high score and steered Yale to their top team bar score. Raegan has an impressive 9.825 bars NQS which ranks her 2nd in the GEC Conference and 2nd overall in the USAG. Raegan will go down in Yale gymnastics history as she holds the highest bars score of a 9.95, which she has done twice now!
GYMNAST OF THE YEAR
Raegan Walker (Yale)
The reigning GEC bar champion continues her career with another strong year for the Bulldogs. Raegan has worked through a number of challenges to make a name for herself within the conference. Walker has been named GEC Gymnast of the Week three times this year due to her outstanding performances on three events. Walker has season high scores of 9.75 on vault, 9.95 on bars, and a 9.9 on beam. Her near perfect 9.95 on bars ties a Yale record, while her 9.9 on beam ties the second highest score on beam in Yale history. She is ranked 2nd in the GEC on bars with a 9.825 NQS, and ranked 8th on beam with a 9.775 NQS. Raegan has earned First Team All-GEC honors on both bars and beam.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Tiara DeTommaso (West Chester)
Holding an impressive 3.954 GPA, Tiara DeTomasso will graduate in May with a dual Major in Economics and Finance, and a minor in Business Analytics. Tiara was recently awarded the prestigious West Chester University 1871 Award, recognizing West Chester University juniors and seniors who are high-achieving in both the academic and co-curricular realms. Tiara serves as the Vice President of WCU’s Women in Business Organization, organizing fundraising and community service events, and has assisted in creating a Women in Business mentorship program. She is a member of a National Leadership Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, as well as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. DeTommaso is also a Student-Athlete mentor, guiding first year student athletes through their first year of NCAA athletics. Tiara has been an extraordinary asset to her team in a leaders
ASSISTANT COACHES OF THE YEAR
Cassie Hageman & Casey Rohrbaugh (Penn)
In their 2nd and 3rd seasons with the Quakers, Hageman and Rohrbaugh have helped lead the team in their most consistent season. With Cassie’s coaching, the beam team set a new school record of a 49.475, with two different gymnasts hitting a 9.95. Casey taught two gymnasts new vaults during the year Penn did not compete due to Covid, one of whom, Campbell Marr, tied Penn’s vault record of a 9.9 with the vault she most recently debuted this season as a junior. From an administrative side, Cassie and Cassie also bring great balance to the team. Cassie is very thorough with planning and organization. With Casey’s help, Penn’s social media following is close to 20,000 followers, contributing greatly to increased recruiting success.
HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR
Kirsten Becker (Penn)
Leading the Penn Quakers to their second GEC Championship and second Regular Season victory, head coach Kirsten Becker is named the second GEC Head coach of the Year. Becker’s squad has earned an impressive 195.015 team NQS, marking the highest NQS in program history. Becker and Penn entered this year’s GEC Championship as the highest ranked team at 51st.