The Cornell women’s gymnastics team will head into this weekend’s meet against Rutgers with two clear objectives in mind, defeating the talented Scarlet Knights, and securing a position in postseason play.
With four meets remaining in the regular season, Cornell must continue improving upon its past performances to ensure itself of a spot in the field of eight teams that will vie for the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships title.
Referring to its chances of making the tournament, coach Paul Beckwith noted, “It looks pretty good right now. Currently, we’re in the eighth position, but we’d sure like to improve our seed.”
However, before the Red begins to worry about the tourney, it must turn its immediate attention to the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers will pose a serious challenge to Cornell, as its roster is laden with gifted tumblers. If recent scores are an accurate indicator, the meet should be a closely contested affair.
“We’ve really got a shot at Rutgers this year because they’re a little bit down,” Beckwith said. “Last week, we scored more points in our meet than they did [in theirs]. And for the past few weeks, our scores have been relatively similar.”
Working in Cornell’s favor will be the return of All-American sophomore Abby Vedder. Returning from a painful heel injury, Vedder will compete in the balance beam and the bars.
In addition, sophomore Shannon Weiman and freshman Stefanie Daehler will try to build on their recent strong showings. Weiman earned ECAC Gymnast of the Week honors with scores of 9.7 on both the floor exercise and balance beam, last week. In the same meet, Daehler broke the school record in the all-around competition. Her record-setting feat did not go unnoticed, as she was awarded with the League’s Rookie of the Week Award.
With a strong showing this weekend, Cornell will be able to kill two birds with one stone.
“We definitely want to win this week against Rutgers, but also put up a strong score to raise our average,” Beckwith commented. “I think they go hand in hand.”
Archived article by Alex Ip