January 27, 2005

Gymnastics Heads Down to Towson for Dual Meet

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Coming off its first win of the dual-meet season last weekend, the gymnastics team travels south to face Towson tomorrow at 7 p.m. After finishing sixth at the George Washington Invitational on January 16, the Red defeated Rhode Island at home last Saturday 184.550-180.975.

“Our focus this weekend is filling in some gaps from last weekend,” said head coach Paul Beckwith. “Last weekend, we lost our top gymnast to injury, Randi Bisbano, so we are trying to fill in bars and vault. She’s an all-arounder, so we need to fill in all four events for her, which is hard to do.”

Behind top-five finishes from senior Larissa Calka and freshman Megan Gilbert, the Red avenged its loss last season to the Rams. Junior Shellen Goltz placed third on beam with a 9.425, while freshmen Madison Kucker and Colleen Davis tied for first place on vault, each scoring a 9.450. Gilbert and Bisbano tied for third with a 9.400. Senior Andrea Mavro finished first for the Red on bars with a 9.450, while Calka and junior Cathy Schnell tied for third with a 9.125. Finally, on floor, Calka and sophomore Kari Kucera tied for second with a 9.450.

Gilbert, with a 9.4 on vault and floor, was named ECAC Rookie of the Week on Tuesday. “She’s going to be a real big factor for us,” Beckwith said. “She’s going to add beam this weekend, and she’ll make a real impact. [Megan’s] got one of the two top vaults.”

At the George Washington Invitational, Cornell scored a 183.425 in its sixth place finish, while Towson finished second with a 188.375. The Tigers improved on that score last weekend against Maryland, earning a season-high 191.425, but still lost to the Terps.

“We’re going in as the underdog. They’re a perennial powerhouse and they’re just joining the ECAC this year,” Beckwith said. “[Towson] has been scoring about five points higher than us, but I know we can come up. It’s like any other sport, one day you have a bad day, and one day you have a good day, and the underdog can win. We’re going in with the attitude that we are every bit as good as them.”

While the Red set a school record with a 193.475 last year at the Ivy Classic, Cornell has not topped the 185 mark yet this year. This is not because of a decline in performance, but rather a big shift in the judging this season.

“All the scoring is low this year, our team is better than we’re scoring. It’s just a change in the judging system,” Beckwith said.

With a national judge assigning system, judges are scoring much tougher this year. Twelve regional assigners replaced the individual assigners at each school, and the result of this effort is to make judging more consistent around the country.

“Right now, the northeast is the lowest-scoring area in the country. Over the course of the year, all the scores moderate somewhere, but we’re not sure where,” Beckwith said. “If the scoring was as it was last year, we would be at 193-194 this year. If we end up scoring in the high 180’s, we’ll be in great shape.”

With the season about to kick in to high gear, the Red is refining its routines, as the players settle in to the start of the spring semester.

“Right now, we’re still really polishing up routines, but in the next couple of weeks, we’ll focus on working more with the difficulty again,” Beckwith said.

Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
Sun Staff Writer