With only one first place finish this season, casual sports fans may view the gymnastics team’s 2004 campaign as a failure.
These fans would be mistaken.
This season is by far the Red’s best ever from a scoring standpoint, and the team continues to improve each week. As a result, head coach Paul Beckwith could not help but be excited at what the rest of the season may hold in store for the Red, despite its 193.275-192.225 loss to Temple over the weekend.
“The score was great,” he said. “It was the fourth highest score ever. That cemented our getting into the USAG Collegiate National Championship.”
With the ECAC championships being held this Saturday, the Red has improved to a point where its scores can be title worthy. In the last three meets, the team has averaged 192.717 points, over a point higher than the school record prior to this season.
Injuries have also limited Cornell’s abilities over that same period, which makes one wonder how high it can score when healthy.
“Injuries kept us from winning,” Beckwith said. “If we had all of our top people in, we would have been okay, but it was worth holding them out, because we want this week to be our best meet of the year.”
The Red outscored Temple on both the vault and the balance beam, but the Owls prevailed on the uneven bars, setting a new school record of 49.350 behind matching scores of 9.9 by Diedre Mattocks and Paige Ozaroski.
Junior Meghan Miller continued to blaze a torrid pace on bars this season with a 9.850, placing her in a tie for the fourth spot. She also was a major contributor on beam with a second-place finish (9.775).
Junior Larissa Calka, who won the ECAC Coaches’ Choice award last week, was once again the Red’s most solid performer as she won the all-around competition with a score of 38.375. She is one of the many gymnasts looking to improve before the upcoming ECAC and USAG championships.
“She has four of the top seven scores ever in the all-around,” Beckwith said. “She’s going to work real hard on raising her start value on beam this week. She can do the harder dismount, but right now we don’t want to take the chance.”
Senior Rachel Goldberg led the Red in a much improved vault lineup. She placed first in the meet with a 9.725, as the team improved nearly half a point on the event. Sophomore Cathy Schnell took second place with a 9.650.
“We had a really good day on vault,” Beckwith said. “Rachel had her second highest score of the year, and Cathy had her second highest score of the year.”
The Red will be back in action this Saturday as it returns to Philadelphia for the ECAC championships. The event should also mark the return of freshman Randi Bisbano, who has been limited in competition over the past few weeks because of a knee injury. If she is able to compete, there is little doubt among the team that a new school record is well within reach.
“I know we can score a 194, and if that wins, then we’re in good shape,” Beckwith said.
Archived article by Dan Carroll