March 1, 2004

Gymnasts Fall at Classic

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Even though finishing last seems like a disappointment, the gymnastics team could not be happier with the fourth place finish it earned yesterday at the Ivy Classic.

The Red destroyed its previous school record by almost a full point with a 193.475. The effort, however, was not enough to take home the crown as Penn set its own school record, and was able to overcome strong performances by Brown and Yale.

The Red’s final team score surpassed its previous high mark of 192.600 set last year at the ECAC championships. Even more impressive is that the team could have gone even higher. Three falls on the balance beam lost the meet for the Red, highlighting its biggest weakness. With the ECAC championships being held at the end of March, the team will undoubtedly look to improve on beam while maintaining a high level of performance in the other events.

“For ECAC’s, we just have to stay on the beam,” said head coach Paul Beckwith. “We know we can beat all these teams.”

Freshman Randi Bisbano, the Red’s top all-around performer, made her return to competition on Sunday. After sitting out the last three meets due to a knee injury, Bisbano competed in everything except the vault. Looking like she never missed a beat, Bisbano stepped up and took first place on the floor exercise with a 9.925 — a new school record — and second place on bars with a 9.875.

“It was very exciting,” said Bisbano. “It’s nice to compete in the lineup, rather than just watching them do it.”

The Red received quite a shock when Bisbano slipped off of the beam and banged her arm, but she was able to get up and finish her routine. Bisbano then proceeded to set the floor exercise record, proving once and for all how healthy she is.

“Her fall on beam scared us just a hair,” Beckwith said. “You can’t ask for much more from somebody who hasn’t been in the gym working out for three weeks.”

“It was just a freak fall,” Bisbano added.

The large, boisterous crowd — including a group of about 30 Cornell gymnastics alumni — was treated to even more record-breaking performances during the vault. Sophomore Cathy Schnell broke senior Rachel Goldberg’s record with a 9.825. Three vaults later, Goldberg, not to be outdone, reclaimed her school record with a 9.875. The duo finished first and second on the event.

“Personally, I’d like to see our team working like crazy on beam this coming week,” said junior Meghan Miller. “The key to winning is staying on that little, four inch piece of wood.”

“We’ll get them all back at ECAC’s,” Beckwith added.

Archived article by Dan Carroll