COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland gymnastics head coach Brett Nelligan announced the signing of two standout gymnasts Wednesday. Kirsten Peterman and Alecia Farina signed national letters of intent to join the Terps in 2016.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Kirsten and Alecia to the Maryland gymnastics family,” Nelligan said. “They’re both ready to come into the gym and start competing, and we’re looking forward to achieving great things together.”
A native of Cambridge, Ontario, Peterman has been a Canadian National Team member since 2012. At the Canadian National Championships in 2014, Peterman finished second on balance beam and third on vault while playing seventh at the all-around finals, earning her a spot on the 2014 World Championship Team. Peterman continued to excel and was named the first reserve to the 2015 World Championship team.
“In addition to a wide array of skills on each event, Kirsten brings a wealth of competitive experience from all over the world,” Nelligan said. “This will be a huge asset to her and the team as we compete on the biggest of stages in collegiate athletics.”
An expert on vault, Peterman finished third on the apparatus in the 2014 International Gymnix after winning the event in 2013. She also finished second on vault at the 2014 Elite Canada event while posting fourth place finishes in floor and beam.
Outside the gym, Peterman has been named to the Ontario Academic Honor Roll every year since 2010.
Farina is also a powerhouse on vault, and is the only gymnast in Ohio high school history to receive a perfect 10 – a feat she has now achieved three times. Farina has also won 11 gold medals and four silvers out of a possible 15 in three years, tying her for the most decorated in Ohio high school history.
“Alecia has that elusive combination of raw power and effortless grace,” Nelligan said. “I have no doubt she’ll be a fan favorite here at Maryland.”
As a junior in 2015, Farina scored a 38.775 in the all-around, setting the state tournament all-around record since 1990. Farina also tied the Ohio state balance beam record and owns four of the top five all-around finishes in Ohio high school state tournament history.
A four-time qualifier for the Region 5 High Tech Camp, Farina placed first on vault, beam and all-around at the Ohio state meet. She also finished second on floor and third on uneven bars. At regionals, Farina posted a second place finish on beam and fifth on floor. At the 2014 Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships, she placed third on beam. Farina is also a two-time Cleveland.com Gymnast of the Year.
In the classroom, Farina is a merit roll student and intends to major in kinesiology at Maryland.
The Terps have made seven straight NCAA Regionals entering the 2016 season. Maryland placed third at the highly competitive Auburn regional last season, the team's highest finish since 2001. The addition of Peterman and Farina look to propel the GymTerps to even greater successes.