March 5, 2004

Tumblers Host Tri-Meet Weekend

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The gymnastics team will host its final home meet of the season tomorrow, only a week after a record setting performance at the Ivy Classic, where little more than half a point differentiated first and second places. The Red will definitely need to harness its momentum to be successful, as Rutgers, Western Michigan, and Ithaca squads will challenge Cornell.

Western Michigan has scored an average of 193.414 points this season, while Rutgers is right behind with a 193.208 average. Neither team has scored below 192.000 yet — a barrier that the Red has only broken twice so far (scoring an average of 189.909 points).

Ithaca’s 184.788 average may not seem intimidating, but the Bombers put up an impressive showing three weeks ago at the Big Red Invitational with a score of 188.850.

Even with such a discrepancy in the average scores, the Red is hopeful of its chances and will look to improve upon the 193.475 it scored last week.

“I think we have a good shot,” said head coach Paul Beckwith. “We have to stay healthy.”

A big contributor in last week’s performance was freshman Randi Bisbano, who made her return from a knee injury that sidelined her for three weeks. While Bisbano had hoped to be completely healed last week, the injury prevented her from competing on the vault. With the ECAC Championships Mar. 20, Beckwith may keep her from competing to ensure she stays healthy.

“I don’t know if she’ll compete this week,” he said. “We’ll put her in ECACs and nationals, if we make it, but other than that, we’re not sure. It’s up to her knee.”

Even if Bisbano does not compete, the Red can still win the meet.

After two weeks of disappointing performances on the balance beam, the team is more focused than ever to improve in that event.

And, with other gymnasts making their return to the lineup, the Red has not looked as healthy all season. Freshman Stephanie Ohler was able to perform on the uneven bars last week, posting the fourth best score in school history. She will be looking to make an even greater impact this weekend.

“It was really nice to be part of the team again,” said Ohler. “I want to be back in the vault lineup.”

After a record-breaking performance last weekend, it is easy to think that the team has little room to improve. But for the Red gymnasts, improvement is the only option.

“Hopefully we can improve on beam, and I think our bars can still improve,” said Ohler. “Everything can improve.”

Archived article by Dan Carroll