February 12, 2001

Gymnastics Takes Second at Invite

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Despite the team’s best effort of the year, Cornell’s women’s gymnastics team was edged by Southern Connecticut State University in the overall team competition by a narrow 187.725-187.55 margin.

As hosts of the Big Red Invitational, the Cornell women finished second in a field of five teams.

Cornell faltered in the vault competition, where freshman Denise Hurd was the only member of the team to place in the top six, finishing third with a score of 9.45. While the Big Red struggled, Southern Connecticut State excelled, using the event to propel itself into first.

However the Big Red fought back, as sophomore All-American Abby Vedder won the balance beam event for the fourth consecutive week with a score of 9.75. Also on the beam, sophomore Katie Nicklas and freshman Stephanie Daehler posted excellent scores of 9.575 and 9.55 which were good enough for 3rd and 4th place respectively.

With an amazing tumbling display, sophomore Meredith Long grabbed the floor exercise with the top score of 9.725. In addition, teammates Vedder and Daehler tied for fourth place with a score of 9.7. Head coach Paul Beckwith was extremely pleased with the team’s efforts on the floor.

“Everyone did really well on the floor exercise. Almost everyone on the team scored personal bests on their routines,” said Beckwith.

The Big Red also performed well in the bars with a two-three finish, as freshmen Rachel Goldberg and Debbie George earned scores of 9.6 and 9.425, respectively.

“We’ve struggled on bars all year long because we’re not deep in the event,” noted Beckwith. “Lately, we’ve been improving, but we still had three falls in the event. We had some good individual performances on bars though. Rachel really came through, earning a personal best two-tenths better than her previous best.”

While outsiders may view the loss as a setback, Beckwith makes it clear that the team is on the right path.

“This was our best meet of the year and I’m extremely happy with our performance. Losing was a little disappointing, but our high score is a good reflection of how well we performed,” noted Beckwith.

Next Sunday, the team will compete at the Ithaca Invitational at 1:00p.m.

Archived article by Sun Staff