For the Cornell gymnastics team, each competition over the past few years has seen improvement and new team records.
Unfortunately for head coach Paul Beckwith, this season has seen a rash of injuries and inconsistency in the lineup.
So Cornell’s 185.925-181.875 loss to Massachusetts-Amherst this weekend was a reversal of the upward trend of the program in recent years.
The squad suffered 11 falls during the day, including one by junior Cassandre Joseph which will likely keep her out of the lineup for at least a few weeks.
“We have lost a lot of our upperclassmen to injury,” Beckwith said.
As for the performance of his team, the coach was not impressed.
“We had a terrible time,” he said.
The Red scored 43.600 on the uneven bars, as compared to UMass’ 46.250 on the event.
“Bars is going to be our Achilles Heal this year,” Beckwith said.
Cornell managed only 45.450 on the floor exercise, giving up almost two points to Massachusetts in the area.
However, Cornell was competitive with the Minutemen on the vault, scoring 46.150 compared to 46.225 for the hosts. And the bright spot for the Red may have been the balance beam, where it defeated UMass 46.675-46.275.
“We had three falls on beam and still beat them,” Beckwith said.
Sophomore Abby Vedder led the crusade for the Red, taking third in the all-around competition with a 36.500. UMass’ Jen Gendron won the all-around title with a 37.825.
Beckwith is hopeful that his team will do well in the future, as Massachusetts is a solid program.
“We had an opportunity to beat them. We just didn’t capitalize,” he said. He added that if his team had committed just four falls, hardly out of the ordinary, Cornell would have pulled off the upset.
This is the second consecutive week that Cornell has come close to defeating a upper-echelon program, falling to Temple by less than a point last Sunday.
Beckwith hopes his team will be able to earn some victories in the upcoming weeks, as it will face programs without numerous scholarships.
These opportunities start this weekend, when the Red travels to face Bridgeport, with MIT also at the event.
Archived article by J.V. Anderton