March 24, 2003

Gymnasts Finish With Win

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aOne week after setting its season-high score at the West Virginia Invitational, the gymnastics team wrapped up its regular season with a 187.4000-186.525 home win over Bridgeport Saturday.

With the Red again plagued by injuries, sophomore Larissa Calka posted one of the team’s finest performances of the season, scoring a career-high 9.725 on the uneven bars, which was good for second place behind teammate Meghan Miller (9.775).

Behind the performances of Miller and Calka, the Red dominated the bars, outscoring Bridgeport 47.575-46.125 to take a lead it would never relinquish.

Calka also took the top spot in the floor exercise with a 9.750. Her highlight, though was on the bars.

“It was the best routine she’s ever done,” said head coach Paul Beckwith. “She has never been out of the 9.6’s before.”

Miller also finished fourth in the floor exercise with a 9.650.

“Miller has been everything for us,” Beckwith said. “We’re hoping to get her vaulting. She has a good shot at an all-around [school] record.”

The win came a week after Cornell placed fifth in a very difficult field at the West Virginia Invitational. Eighth-ranked Florida won the meet with a 197.125, while the Red’s 189.725 was this season’s top team score.

“The harder the competition, the better we do,” said Beckwith. “The girls did really, really well. They hit a lot better than most meets.”

Miller Time

Miller was the top Cornell performer, placing fifth in the bars with a season-high 9.825 and falling just .5 points short of the school record.

Junior Denise Hurd scored a 9.65 on the vault and Calka tied a season-high score of 9.8 in the floor exercise to lead the Red in those events.

“We need to be seeing big schools all the time,” said Beckwith. “It brings out our best, and the girls really enjoyed being out with the top teams in the country.”

The team will look to surpass the 190 mark for the first time this season as it heads to Yale for the ECAC championships.

“On a good day we can still be a 191 team,” Beckwith said. “I’ll say it until the last day of the season because I really believe it.”

Archived article by Owen Bochner