© Towson University Athletics

Courtesy of Towson University Athletics

TOWSON, Md. – Jan. 6, 2010 – More than 3,000 students from local elementary and middle schools jammed into the Towson Center on Wednesday morning as Coach Dick Filbert and the Tiger gymnastics team presented their Field Trip Demonstration.

Keith Mills, ’78, a renowned sportscaster for WBAL-TV and WBAL-Radio, served as the emcee for the event. He introduced each of the Tiger gymnasts, stressing the fact the Tiger gymnasts are true scholar-athletes and work as hard in the classroom as they do in the gym.

The biggest cheers were reserved for senior Alise McDonald and junior Megan Wooden, a pair of Baltimore County products. McDonald is a graduate of Randallstown High School while Wooden attended Perry Hall High School.
After introducing the Tiger gymnasts, Mills presented Coach Filbert, who conducted the Field Trip for the 18th time since 1991.

Coach Filbert started the demonstration with a vocabulary lesson. He taught the students two words that are vital in gymnastics – inversion and rotation. Then, the Tiger gymnasts spent some time demonstrating what the words meant. To show what inversion means, the gymnasts all stood on their hands at once. Then, they walked around the arena on their hands while several of them went into the crowd to walk upside down.

Then, the Tigers showed how they rotate their bodies as they tumbled across the floor. They showed off their vaulting skills with some help from the audience. Emily Hill, Lindsay Poplaski and Britney Russell showed off their skills by vaulting over four students and landing safely on a mat.

While most of the audience was impressed, there was one teacher who was skeptical. So, Coach Filbert invited Mrs. Anna Spring of Manor Woods Elementary School to come down to the floor. She came out of the crowd and the Tiger coach asked Poplaski to vault over the teacher, who was standing up. As a precautionary measure, Coach Filbert provided Mrs. Spring with a Towson football helmet to wear. Undaunted, Poplaski vaulted over the teacher with inches to spare.

The Tigers also showed off their skills on the uneven bars and the balance beam during the 75-minute presentation along with a team performance on the floor exercise.

Led by senior co-captain Jackie Schweitzer, the Tigers open their 2010 schedule at the University of Alaska Anchorage on Friday, January 15. The Tigers make their home debut on Saturday, January 30 when they host William & Mary at 2:00 p.m.