March 15, 2005

Gymnasts Fall to Temple at Home

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The good news is that on senior day the gymnastics team posted a score of 189.800, which stands as the highest overall score for Cornell this season. The bad news, however, is that the score didn’t equal a check in the win column, as the Red barely lost a duel to Temple University last Saturday at Teagle Hall. With a history against rival Temple that includes many close finishes, this particular duel was no different, with the Red coming in just a few routines short of the lady Owls’ score of 190.900.

“We did really well and just missed on a couple small things,” said senior co-captain Andrea Mavro. “We’re on the same talent level as them so it could have gone either way.”

The Red got off to a great start, posting four-of-the-top-five finishes in the floor exercise. Sophomore Randi Bisbano wowed the crowd with a score of 9.775, earning her a first-place finish. Sophomore Kari Kucera came in second place with a 9.725 and freshman sensation Megan Gilbert completed a Red sweep of the top three floor spots with a 9.650.

Going into the home meet with Temple, the Red put a lot of emphasis on improving in the uneven bars. After a successful week of practice, the hard work payed off as the Cornell seniors claimed three-of-the-top-four finishes in the event.

“We started practicing in a different way,” Mavro said.”

Mavro finished second overall on bars with a score of 9.600, while Calka finished fourth with a 9.575. Senior Meghan Miller won the event with an first-place score of 9.725.

The last home show for seniors Allison Betof, Danielle Inwald, Shellen Goltz, Calka, Miller, and Mavro was very successful, but not even a season-high team score can sum up what the six seniors have meant to the program. All performed exhibition routines after the Cornell show came to an end. It was a highlight of four years of individual achievements, which include All-American honors and all-time Cornell records.

As the gymnasts regroup and reflect on a positive showing from last Saturday, the focus now shifts towards dueling with Penn, as the two teams will meet this weekend in Philadelphia. Although not as heated as the Temple rivalry, the lady gymnasts view this meet as equally important since it is the last chance for the team to perfect its craft before the ECAC championships, which are set to take place March 26 in Harrisonburg, Va.

“We’re hoping to beat them because they won Ivy League last year and beating them would give us a huge confidence booster going into ECAC’s,” Bisbano said.

Mavro shared her teammates sentiments.

“We want to do as well as we did [this past Saturday],” Mavro said. “We beat Penn earlier in the year so we want to show them that we can do it again on their home turf.”

Archived article by Tim Kuhls
Sun Contributor