February 27, 2004

Gymnasts Host Ivy Classic

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After disappointing losses to Penn and James Madison last weekend, the Red hopes to rebound on Sunday during the Ivy Classic. Brown, Penn, and Yale will travel to Bartels Hall for the 1 p.m. meet to determine who has the best gymnastics team in the Ivy League.

Due to an Ivy League stipulation, the event cannot be called a championship because it does not involve at least five teams. But the event’s title makes little difference: the team that wins the meet will be seen as the best team for a year.

“Obviously whoever wins the meet will be the best team in the Ivy League,” said head coach Paul Beckwith, “We call ourselves Ivy League champions.”

The Red hopes to finally pull it together after dealing with various new and old injuries over the past few weeks. Junior Shellen Goltz is back competing on the uneven bars. Junior Meghan Miller, who was the Ivy Classic bars champion last year, seems to be back to her old form after spending the fall semester in Copenhagen. Sophomore Cathy Schnell, the bars champion last year, not only looks solid in that event, but is also a bigger threat now after debuting a new vault last week.

“It’s all up to our personnel,” said Beckwith. “Everybody is putting out as much as they can, but we need our starting lineup back.”

Freshman Randi Bisbano, the Red’s top all-around performer this season, will be a last minute decision after suffering a knee injury. An MRI last week revealed a bruise under her kneecap. If Bisbano is able to compete on Sunday, not only does she have a chance to win the all-around, but she also could lead the team to a victory in the Classic.

“If the doctor says she can, then it will be up to her and how much pain she’s in,” said Beckwith. “It’s totally a doctor decision at this point. She wants to be in desperately.”

The meet should be extremely close, with or without everyone healthy. All four teams are ranked in the top seven in the latest ECAC rankings, with Penn (No. 2) leading the Ivies, followed by Cornell (No. 3), Brown (No. 5), and Yale (No.7).

“We have a chance,” said Schnell. “The teams are all very, very close in skills.”

The location of the meet, Newman Arena in Bartels Hall, represents an upgrade from the usual location at Teagle Hall. Bartels should provide a much better environment for spectators, as well as more room for the gymnasts. Plus, the larger capacity will come in handy as many more fans are expected to come watch the heated Ivy contest. As of right now, there is no clear favorite to win.

“If we hit, we’re as good as anybody else,” said Beckwith.

Archived article by Dan Carroll