There's no need for a team bus, or a caravan of station wagons to transport George Washington University's championship women's gymnastic squad. The coach's light blue 1973 Toyota does just fine.
And if you think that things might get crowded in the little car, forget it - there are only two people on the team.
Last week, the GW contingent of freshmen Beth Gorman and junior Amy Edwards defeated teams with five and six times more members to capture the seventh annual D.C. Gymnastics Open at Gallaudet College.
The duo, coached by Chris Mirabile, won both the compulsory and optional compeition in the two-day even to cap an undefeated league season.
"Oh, I think that they adapted to being outnumbered in meets very quickly," said Mirabile, who graduated last year from Southern Connecticut State. "Most of the teams have between 10 and 15 people. But Beth and Amy have been in gymnastics a long time and I think they're confident of their ability to do well."
Gorman, who took six individual first places in the D.C. Open, was prepared to retire as a competitor after graduating last year from Towson High School.
"I had fulfilled my goal of getting a medal at the state competition," said Gorman. "I wanted to continue in gymnastics but in the capacity of a teacher and judge. But when I got here, I discovered that if I hadn't gone out for the team, it would have consisted of just one girl."
Edwards, who took six second places at Gallaudet, planned to compete only in intramural gymnastics at GW.
"I had never considered myself a top-level performer," said Edwards. "But in 1975, the year after I got here (from Richmond), a varsity team was just forming and I knew I had to give it a try. I didn't think it would be like this."
Gorman and Edwards were understandably apprehensive at the start of the 1976-77 season. A handful of team members had graduated and in the first week of training, they lost their coach, Marcia Treado, to injury.
"I was somewhat worried then," recalled Gorman. "Our first meet was a league competition between the University of Maryland and UVA. We were just swamped by people and I was really hurting from falling the day before. Anyway, we didn't win that one, but it was a big help in getting us used to the feeling of being surrounded."
It didn't take Gorman and Edwards long to get used to that feeling. They put toegether a six-meet win streak, defeating league opponents from Georgetown, Gallaudet, Morgan State and Catholic University.
"At first it's a lonely feeling and you're a little scared because you don't know anyone," explained Gorman. "But you have to understand something about our league. It's still very young and it's not at a high level of competition yet. People are very friendly in our meets and are always willing to exchange ideas. In general you're treated more like an individual than as a member of one team or another."
The two grew to like the novelty of their situation.
"People wound come up and say how nice it was to shake hands with half the team, things like that," said Gorman with a smile. "They got to know who we were and nobody was ever anything but friendly."
"It's hard to push yourself in practice," said Edwards. "You often end up being the only one there because people have different schedules. It's just a lot more fun and easier when there's a large group around to give you feedback."
To a great extent, the motivation gap was filled by Parviz Yosseffy, a coach on Iran's national gymnastic team who is working toward a masters degree in physical education.
Yousseffy is a vast source of gymnastic knowledge and keeps detailed notes on the girls' performance in practice, while acting as a spotter for new and involved routines.
"GW is fortunate to have good facilites compared to other schools in the League but these girls are good because they work very hard and I'm able to show them a lot," said Yosseffy.
"There's no question we'd be in big trouble without Parviz," sxplained Edwards.
For Gorman, the miniteam experience has been a positive one.
"It's a real confidence builder," she said. "But you can't cling to that. Next year we will be up to four or five That will be great."