The Cornell gymnastics team did not have its best score of the season on Saturday but still managed to remain competitive in the 2013 Rutgers Quad Meet. The Red’s overall team score of 191.325 was enough to edge out William and Mary (191.100) and Brockport (188.750), but not enough to top Rutgers who had a phenomenal meet and set multiple school records. Rutgers finished with a 195.975 on Saturday, which set a school record for overall team score while also setting program high scores on the vault and floor.The 191.325 was not what the team hoped for, as it had improved its team score to over a 193 the previous week. However, barring a 46.425 on the beam, the Red scored over a 48 in all of the events.“It was a great meet in terms of keeping the team energy up and positive. It makes a difference when you’re out there and the energy is high, and I felt that it showed in most of our performances,” said junior Mackenzie Sato. “We had a tough beam rotation and had to count falls but we really picked it up on floor and vault to finish the meet strong.”The Red had six gymnasts finish in the top seven with two of them placing in the top five. The highest event score for the Red was on the floor (48.575); highlighting the floor performance was Sato, who scored a career high 9.800 which earned her fifth place. The top finisher for the Red on Saturday was junior Melanie Jorgensen who scored a 9.800 on the bars and would earn herself third place in the event.The Red have been consistently good on the bars all season with Junior Alexis Schupp also finishing sixth on bars with her routine earning her a 9.725.“Bars in particular was outstanding, with each person in lineup nailing their routines, although the scores did not necessarily show that,” said senior tri-captain McKenna Archer.On the vault, Archer and freshmen Alicia Bair finished in sixth and seventh with a 9.750 and 9.675, respectively. Sophomore Maia Vernacchia had the team’s highest individual score on the beam with a 9.600.This week the Red will head to New Haven, Conn. for a quad meet with Southern Connecticut State, Brown and West Chester.Brown will be a familiar face for the Red as Brown won the Ivy League Classic two weeks ago, finishing with a score of 193.925, .900 better than the Red’s second place score of 193.025. West Chester is coming off of a first place finish in a quad meet that included Southern Connecticut, who has four first place finishes this season. Of the four teams competing next week, Brown averages the most points per meet with 191.550, the Red averages 191.125 and West Chester averages 186.781. Southern Connecticut’s season high is 188.975.The Red will focus this week on improving its beam scores and continuing improvements in the other three events.“We need to be more consistent on beam. We counted two falls this weekend but plan to improve upon that for Southern Connecticut this weekend … We are practicing doing cold sets on beam this week. It mimics the setting we compete in, where we warm up between one and one and a half hours before we actually compete. This should help us hit beam and get back to the 193s,” Jorgensen said.As the team approaches the final portion of the season, it is important that each athlete keeps focused and polish all four events for the upcoming meets. With the ECACs and potentially the USAG Nationals on the horizon, it is necessary for the Red to continue building on the successes that it has had this season. The Red is currently in a position that would send them to the USAG National Championship in Shreveport, L.A. The top eight teams qualify for the USAG Nationals and the Red are currently in sixth and are 1.135 points ahead of the eighth place team Temple.“We need to really focus on being consistent and confident as we go into the last four meets of our season. Towards the end of season, it is especially important to stay healthy and keep up our momentum so that we are in the best possible position for ECACs and USAG Nationals,” Archer said.
Original Author: Tucker Maggio-Hucek