February 8, 2002

Gymnasts Come Home

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The gymnastics team was on a roll, winning against Penn and UMass and garnering a fourth place finish at the George Washington Invitational. Last weekend at the New Hampshire Invitational, though, it hit a snag. Tomorrow the Red has a chance to find its rhythm, hosting the Big Red Invitational for its second home meet on the season.

After a blazing start to the season, the Red staled in New Hampshire placing third out of three teams last weekend.

“We were so up, it’s hard to maintain that intensity week after week, one after another, after another,” head coach Paul Beckwith said, adding, “It’s nice to come home.”

The team did take away positives from the UNH trip, such as an impressive performance on the floor exercise. But it had “a bad day on the bars,” according to Beckwith, the exercise which the Red has been best at in its first four meets.

Beckwith doesn’t expect there to be many falls on bars, though, as the Big Red Invitational perennially is the biggest homestand for the gymnastics team.

“It’s the biggest meet of the year. We’ve won for the last few years,” Beckwith said.

Also at the meet will be Ithaca College, Cortland College and Towson.

“We’re not really worried about Ithaca or Cortland,” Beckwith said.

Towson has been one of the top 20 programs in the past few years, but it doesn’t have the talent or the depth that it’s boasted in former seasons.

In order to finish first, Beckwith believes that the Red must break its team record tomorrow — an obstacle he feels his team can accomplish.

“With the exception of vault, we can break the record of any event because we’re so deep,” he explained, noting the talent in the rookie class.

The Red is bottom heavy with most of the team being freshmen or sophomores, however, the new members have contributed significantly. Freshman classmates Meghan Miller and Shellen Goltz both received ECAC Rookie of the Week honors.

“The [freshman class] has been performing fabulously. It is definitely the best freshman class we’ve had,” he continued.

Beckwith was hesitant to give any predictions, but he expects the meet to be a jumping off point for the rest of the season.

“It will set us up for the next weekend,” he said.

The events begin at Teagle Hall at 1:00 p.m.

“If there are meets you get up for, this is it,” Beckwith concluded.

Archived article by Amanda Angel