Looking to set the pace for the ECAC Championship this weekend, the Cornell gymnastics team traveled Pennsylvania to compete against West Chester University. The Red was able to pull out a very close win, 192.350 to 192.000.
Winning by .350, this close victory was made possible by top finishes in major events. Freshman Kaitlin Green was able to secure a win in beam and bars to assist the team in its win. Green was followed by teammate junior Elana Molotsky who tied for second in the bars. Freshman Lyanda Dudley also had a big weekend, coming in third in beam and scoring 9.775 on floor to secure a second place finish on floor.
Knowing what lies ahead, the team sought to use this competition as a springboard for Saturday’s championship. Even with the win, more can be done to ensure a strong competition on Saturday, according to Dudley.
“Despite some really great performances, Saturday’s meet was definitely not our best showing as a team,” Dudley said. “Truthfully, this is not the pace we wanted to set going into championships. However, I believe this past weekend is a strong motivation to get back in the gym this week and work harder than ever. That drive will set us up for success this upcoming weekend.”
Molotsky was similarly critical of the recent meet.
“Although it was not one of our best performances this season, it was a good learning experience,” Molotsky said. “We had some uncharacteristic falls on floor and bars, but the team really stepped up on vault and beam to keep our score at a reasonable place.”
With a short week coming up, Molotsky underscored the importance of the upcoming practice schedule.
“Going into next week’s championships we only have three days of practice at home, so the team will be looking to increase the number of repetitions in order to stray away from those uncharacteristic mistakes,” she said. “We will be concentrating on focus and confidence as those are the two things that really helped us succeed as a team at Ivy League Championships.”
Cornell has a big weekend ahead, competing against Ivy League competition, Penn, Brown and Yale, as well as strong teams from William and Mary and Temple University
“Saturday’s meet was a good way to get out last minute jitters before our upcoming ECAC conference championship,” said assistant coach Melanie Dilliplane. “We made some mistakes on bars and floor so we will go into the gym this week and work on those parts of the routines that have been giving us problems.”
Despite the errors made over the weekend, Dilliplane said the Red is prepared to make big waves at the championship.
“On bars we need to focus on hitting handstands and sticking dismounts and on floor we need to clean up our tumbling and dance,” Dillipane said. “We have the potential to hit more school records at this competition if we put it all together. All of the teams have been scoring about the same off and on all season so we certainly have the potential to win this meet. The last time we won was during the 2011 season.”