January 23, 2004

Tumblers Overcome Injuries

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The gymnastics team struggled to overcome a host of injuries over the break, placing sixth at the George Washington Invitational with a score of 185.750. North Carolina (194.800) won the meet thanks to a perfect 10.000 by Courtney Bumpers on floor. Penn placed fourth with a score of 189.075.

“Event wise we are really focusing on vaulting and bars,” said head coach Paul Beckwith. “We’ve had a couple of injuries that we hope will not plague us too much anymore. They shouldn’t be our weakest events, but they are the two events we need the most work on.”

The biggest injury is that of junior Shellen Goltz. She was eager to get back to competing after not being able to compete in the all-around last season due to a foot injury. After complaining of pain in her back, a bone scan on Wednesday revealed a stress fracture.

“We don’t know how it happened,” said Beckwith, “it’s just one of those things.”

The team received some good news that the injury is not major. Once the pain goes away, Goltz should be able at the very least to return to competition on bars. The addition would be a major boost to the Red. Before the season began, the bars team looked to be the strongest part of the squad. With two other starters, juniors Megan Miller and Allison Betof, out due to injury or conditioning problems, Beckwith has had to look toward freshmen to pick up the slack.

The biggest boost came from Randi Bisbano. In her first collegiate meet, she set a school record in the all-around. Her score of 38.225 bests the previous mark of 38.200, set by Goltz in 2002. The performance gave the Red a top five finisher. The only other Red gymnast to break the top 10 was junior Larissa Calka (36.850), who placed ninth.

“Our freshman came through pretty well,” said Beckwith. “It’s really exciting. We’ve never had an all-around record broken in the first meet of the year, much less with someone falling.”

The Red is looking to build some momentum this weekend with meets at Rhode Island (0-2) and with Brown (1-2, 0-0 Ivy) tomorrow.

“Brown is too close to call,” said Beckwith. “But we’re really gunning for Rhode Island. They seem to be a little off at the beginning of the year.”

Archived article by Dan Carroll