by Becca Stotsky, Sports Reporter
photo courtesy of Brown University Athletics
Ella Poley, ‘19 graduate, has always dominated the gymnastics floor. She competed for club Massachusetts Gymnastics Center Masstars for 12 years, and she joined the South girls gymnastics team her senior year, helping lead the team to an undefeated regular season, a Dual County League championship, a third-place finish at the state competition and a first-place finish at the New England Gymnastics Championship. She set the South’s all-around gymnastics record — calculated by adding the results from all four events (vault, floor exercise, uneven bars and balance beam) — with a score of 38.075 and received Boston Globe All-Scholastic honors and a Dual County League All-Star award.
This fall, Poley began her sophomore year at Brown University. Due to the coronavirus, however, the Ivy League canceled all winter sports competitions, and her college gymnastics season was canceled.
Around the end of her freshman year of high school, Poley said she decided that she wanted to continue gymnastics at the college level, beginning a long process of contacting and updating coaches.
“We had to send a lot of videos to all the different coaches, to every school we were even slightly interested in. We had to email a lot, too, to keep them updated with all our skills and everything that we were doing,” she said.
Reflecting on her recruitment process, Poley said high school seniors should not shy away from constant communication with coaches.
“Definitely keep in touch with all the coaches of the schools that you want to go to. Because even if you feel like you’re emailing them too much or trying to reach out to them too much, you’re definitely not,” she said. “They want to hear from you. They want to see that you’re interested.”
Poley said she decided in her junior year that she wanted to attend an Ivy League school for gymnastics.
“I wanted to go to an Ivy because of the great education, and they’re all Division 1, which was ultimately what I was looking for,” she said.
Her freshman year at Brown, Poley was named the most improved gymnast, with season highs of 9.650 on vault and 9.775 on bars (with 10.0 being a perfect score). Brown’s women’s gymnastics team completed their regular season in 2019-2020, but their postseason meets were canceled.
The supportive environment at Brown has made Poley’s college athletic experience unforgettable.
“The environment’s just amazing. At meets it’s such high energy, and everyone’s cheering for everyone, and it just makes it a lot of fun,” she said.