March 14, 2006

Gymnastics Downs Owls

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This past weekend, the gymnastics team posted its highest team score of the season and defeated Temple in a dual meet on the road – a feat no previous Cornell team has ever accomplished. The Big Red won every single event, defeating Temple by a combined team score of 189.375 to 187.100.

“We went out and accomplished two of our goals. We beat them at their place for the first time ever, and we got our highest score of the season,” said head coach Paul Beckwith. “This is just what we need to be doing with two weeks left in the season.”

Individually, Cornell was led by sophomore Megan Gilbert and junior Randi Bisbano, who finished 1 – 2 in both the beam exercise and the all-around. Cornell’s lone senior, Cathy Schnell, continued her impressive performance on the bars, winning the event with a 9.675. Freshman Sari Tepper won the vault with a score of 9.500. As a team, Cornell did not have to count a single fall.

“Before the meet, our warm-ups were not wonderful. We had a heck of a time adjusting to their bars, and their floor was harder than we’re used to. With that said, I’m glad everyone caught their releases and landed their jumps,” Beckwith said.

One of the more important performances of the day came from Tepper in the floor exercise, an event she had only performed once before in her collegiate career.

“Cathy Schnell pulled some back muscles last week, and we knew she couldn’t go on the floor this week. So we put in Sari, and she did a great job,” Beckwith said.

Filling in for the injured Schnell, Tepper scored a 9.425 on the floor.

Against Temple, Cornell’s depth and overall team consistency ultimately won the meet. Of the 20 individual event scores used to combine for the team’s total score, the lowest counted was a 9.250 and the highest was a 9.675.

“We don’t have any one person in any one event that carries us. We really score as a block, where each week somebody else takes a turn with a top score. Our team is just really consistent,” Beckwith said. “Plus, we still have room for improvement, which is great. You never want to think that you’ve maxed out. We can easily come up a point on the beam, and (junior) Kari Kucera could’ve had 9.7 on the floor.”

Kucera scored a 9.425 this week despite receiving several routine deductions.

This Saturday, Cornell hosts archrival Penn in the team’s final dual meet of the season. When asked what effect Cornell’s win over Temple has upon the upcoming meet with Penn, Beckwith was confident.

“[The win over Temple] reassures us. We just won on the road in Penn territory. We scored a 189.3 at Temple, and they were hosting a meet and got a 187.8. Does that give us confidence? Yes. But it’ll be close, there’s no doubt about that. We’re definitely psyched,” Beckwith said.

Schnell, who will participate in her last regular season meet of her career Saturday, put it succinctly.

“I hate Penn,” she said. “We will not lose to Penn.”

Archived article by Stephen Davis
Sun Staff Writer