March 25, 2014

GYMNASTICS | Red Takes Second at ECAC Championships

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By TUCKER MAGGIO-HUCEK

In 31 years of ECAC Gymnastic Championships, Saturday’s result had never happened. The College of William and Mary and Brown tied for firs0t place, each team scoring a 193.600. The pair of teams far outscored the Red, who finished in second earning a 192.35.

Captain Lexi Schupp said that posting good scores the previous two weekends helped the Red on Saturday, “Our mindset was to keep up the momentum from the past few meets and bring it with us at ECAC’s.”

The bar’s lineup absolutely continued their momentum, and remained the Red’s best event this season. Schupp and her teammates dominated the event, which saw three Cornell Gymnasts place in the top two spots. After senior Melanie Jorgensen won the bar’s event at the Ivy League Championships a few weeks ago, Schupp put together a routine that was equally impressive. Schupp’s 9.825 won the event, and was closely followed by Jorgensen and freshman Elana Molotsky. The pair of Cornell Gymnasts scored 9.800’s, and were a part of a three way tie for second.

On the vault, sophomore Alicia Bair represented the Red in excellent fashion, scoring a 9.775 en route to a second place finish. Bair, for the second season in a row has placed on the vault in the ECAC Championships. Only a fraction of a point away from Bair in the standings was freshman Alexandria Bourgeois, who continued her excellent first season by finishing in a tie for third with a 9.725. On the vault and bars, the Red finished with the second highest score of all teams, scores that would carry the Red’s overall team score.

The beam event ended up hurting the Red’s overall score again this past weekend. Only one gymnast for Cornell finished in the top five places. Junior Maia Vernacchia earned a 9.700 as a part of a four-way tie for fifth place. As a team, the Red finished in third on the beam.

On the floor event the Red also struggled to find their rhythm. Finishing with the lowest score of all four teams, the Red did not have a single gymnast place in the top six.

Despite struggling on two events the Red posted their third highest score of the season, and had excellent routines across the board on vault and bars. With two weeks to prepare for the USAG National Championships, it will be imperative the team maintains it’s focus and energy levels. Schupp noted that the preparation time would allow the Red to fix minor details, “A lot of focus will be on the execution of smaller details we believe will help us reduce minor deductions individually, which will boost our overall team score.”

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