Black Eyed Susan kicks off season 12th annual meet draws 28 teams

The 1992-93 gymnastics season begins in Baltimore this weekend with the 12th annual Black Eyed Susan Invitational Gymnastics Meet at the Towson Center.

The meet, which features 28 teams from 10 states, is sponsored by Rebounders and Towson State gymnastics teams.


In the past, Olympic-caliber gymnasts, such as Dominique Dawes of Silver Spring, have competed in the Black Eyed Susan meet.

This year, however, with the conclusion of the Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain, the meet likely will focus on regional and local talent.


One of those will be Baltimore's Carolyn Hecht, a Maryland state level-nine champion who trains at Rebounders.

Hecht, a sophomore at Friends School, won meets in Colorado and Indiana, Pa., and finished fifth in the level-nine nationals in Baton Rouge, La., last season.

Hecht was scheduled to compete in the Maccabi Youth Games, which were held in Baltimore this summer, but was sidelined with a stress-related wrist injury for about 10 weeks.

Hecht has been training with her coach, Rebounders head coach Sheri Huppenthal, since the end of September and said she is looking forward to starting the season.

"I don't want to set my goals too high. I'm just going to do the best I can do," said the 14-year-old who lives in Mount Washington. "I feel fine and my wrist feels fine."

All competitors will participate in the four events: floor exercise, balance beam, vault and uneven bars.

Hecht said her strongest event is the balance beam, which she won inthe level-nine regional meet last year.

"It's not one of my favorite events to compete in, but it's my strongest," Hecht said. "I'm used to it, but it's kind of nerve-wracking."


Hecht and level-nine, level-10 and elite gymnasts will perform their optional routines today at 6:30 p.m. Level-five gymnasts will begin the meet at 9:30 a.m. with compulsory routines followed by level-six competitors at noon.

Gymnasts at levels seven and eight will compete tomorrow at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

"This is probably one of the best meets on the East Coast," said meet director Jean Weber. "People seem to like to come to Baltimore."

Facts and figures

What: 12th annual Black Eyed Susan Invitational Gymnastics Meet

Where: Towson Center


When: Today, 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; tomorrow, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Cost: Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for students per day. A two-day pass is $10. Children under 5 are admitted free.

Data: The meet will feature more than 300 gymnasts reresenting 10 states in different levels of competition from level five (beginner) to 10 and elite (advanced). The meet is sponsored by Rebounders and Towson State gymnastic teams.