February 7, 2003

Gymnasts Tumble to Piscataway; Face Rutgers, Pitt

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After posting a season-high mark of 187.125 points in a tri-meet victory last weekend, the Cornell gymnastics team will head to Piscataway, N.J. tomorrow for a tri-meet against host Rutgers and Pittsburgh.

The Red saw four of its gymnasts win events in last weekend’s win over Cortland and Wilson. As a group, the tumblers were particularly strong in the uneven bars, an event in which they claimed the top five spots. Freshman Cathy Schnell earned top honors, scoring a 9.500 on the event, while sophomores Shellen Goltz and Allison Betof were not far behind at 9.475. Two other impressive second-year performers, Andrea Mavro and Larissa Calka, took fourth and fifth, respectively.

Junior Denise Hurd took first on the vault with a 9.500, while Schnell finished second in the event with a 9.275. Calka was the Red’s third top-five finisher on the apparatus, placing fifth with a 9.125.

Senior Shannon Weiman dominated the field on the balance beam with a winning score of 9.575. Red juniors Katie Nicklas and Stefi Daehler took fourth and fifth on the beam.

Daehler led three Red tumblers in the top five in the floor exercise, posting a 9.700 to claim first place. Sophomore Meghan Miller took third in the event while Schnell posted her third top-five finish of the day, tying for third.

Meanwhile, for the third time in three weeks, Calka took home the all-around crown.

This weekend’s competition, Pittsburgh and Rutgers, will be a stern test for the Red, however.

“It’ll be tough. Pitt’s a fully-funded team,” Cornell coach Paul Beckwith said. “We’re psyched, we’re really excited.”

The Red, though, will have to cope with a shortage in personnel, as Goltz is hampered with an injury and Daehler has left the team for Africa. As a result, the tumblers may opt for routines that involve a lower level of difficulty.

“We’re being patient,” Beckwith said. “The big thing is we can’t get anybody else hurt. We’ve had piles of injuries.”

But while the team is short on gymnasts, Beckwith is still looking for a quality effort from his team.

“In the last six meets last year, we scored 190-plus points five times. We can still do that. We just need to believe in ourselves,” Beckwith concluded.

Archived article by Alex Ip