Cornell gymnastics traveled to Philadelphia, Pa. this past Saturday for its final meet of the regular season. The Red came up just short in attempting to avenge its 0.95 loss to Penn in last month’s Ivy Classic. Although the two teams split the four events, the Quakers reaffirmed their position atop the Ivy League with a 190.675-188.400 victory over its perennial rival from Ithaca.
Penn’s Jordan Brewer and Marissa Rosen led the home team out of the gate with scores of 9.6 and 9.725, respectively, on the vault. However, the Quaker’s 47.775 vault score could not withstand impressive performances by sophomore Sari Tepper (9.625) and freshman Molly Parker (9.65) as the Red overcame Penn.
[img_assist|nid=22252|title=Walk the line.|desc=Sophomore Stacey Ohara does her routine on the balance beam in the Red’s 187.375-184.550 win over Cortland St. on Feb. 3.|link=node|align=left|width=58|height=100]
The Red’s fragile .2 point lead did not hold up during the bar competition and Penn claimed the lead after two events. Quaker Kim Chin’s remarkable 9.85 score on the bars was the highest individual mark of the day in any of the four events. The Red’s difficulty on the bars was due, in part, to injuries to two starters.
“Injuries and the layoff of Spring Break forced a lot of us into unfamiliar roles,” Parker said. “It was a big day for the freshmen.”
Junior Colleen Davis did not dress for the meet because of injury and freshman Erin Brosy dislocated her finger in warmups. Freshman Jill Davis had never been in the bars lineup but performed like a veteran and earned a score of 9.05.
“Jill’s only experience on the bars was in exhibitions,” said freshman Sarah Zelek. “She did a great job in hitting her routine.”
In the third leg of the meet, Cornell fought back with a great floor performance and took a 142.575-142.45 lead. Senior captain Kari Kucera tied sophomore Jennifer Yee for the Red’s best individual performance of the day, as she earned a 9.725 from the floor judges. Junior Megan Gilbert, sophomore Sari Tepper, classmate Stacey O’Hara and freshman Emily Lenk followed their captain’s lead as they made floor the Red’s best event of the day with a collective score of 48.025.
The Red was not able to stave off the Quakers in the final round of the day. Cornell literally stumbled on the beam exercise with a relatively low score of 45.825, even though freshman Amanda Chirlin won the event.
“Megan Gilbert and Amanda stepped up on beam after three falls and kept us in the meet until the end,” Lenk said.
Penn excelled in its final event of the day with a 48.25 floor score and it took the lead for good. Rosen, the Quaker’s star performer in every event, closed the meet out with the highest rated floor performance of the day.
Despite the loss, the Red continues to have its best season ever with a No. 3 ranking in the ECAC. The Red gets a shot at redemption against Penn next Saturday in the ECAC championships, which will be held at Cornell.