April 2, 2007

Gymnastics Earns Fourth

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This weekend the gymnastics team hosted the ECAC championships and finished fourth with a team score of 190.100.

Although defending champion Towson reclaimed its title with a team score of 193.650, the Red placed three players in the top-7 of the beam competition — including the individual champion, sophomore Stacey O’Hara.

[img_assist|nid=22436|title=Balance beam|desc=Sophomore Stacey Ohara’s score of 9.825 on the balance beam gave her the ECAC title and helped the Red to a fourth-place finish.|link=node|align=left|width=76|height=100]

Although Cornell got off to a slow in the competition, these performances in the beam pushed the team into fourth place overall.

O’Hara won the individual beam title and scored a 9.825, the third highest in Cornell history.

“We’re really happy with our finish,” said senior co-captain Kari Kucera. “We ended on a good note with Stacey winning beam and our team finishing second in that event.”

Freshman Amanda Chirlin was the second highest Cornell finisher in beam with a fifth-place score of 9.750 while junior Megan Gilbert scored a 9.675 to finish seventh. Senior Christina Baez also scored points for her team with a score of 9.625. This gave the Red a second-place team finish in the beam competition.

“We had some spectacular performances,” Kucera said. “This is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Kucera was the top Cornell finisher in the floor competition with a score of 9.725, which gave her a sixth-place finish overall.

Sophomore Jennifer Yee placed 13th in bars with a score of 9.550 which led the bars event for the Red. Junior Colleen Davis also had a strong finish with a score of 9.450.

In the vault competition, freshman Brittany Howse came in 11th place, scoring 9.625 — the best score in vault for the Red — while Gilbert and freshman Emily Lenk finished right behind her with a score of 9.525.

Gilbert was injured during the practice before the met, but was able to come back and lead the Red to a top-10 finish in beam and a top-15 finish in vault.

“She was really an example for the team,” Kucera said. “Megan was injured pretty badly right before the match but she still was able to come back and do really well.

Moving forward, Kucera emphasized the need to be healthy and mentally focused coming out of the ECACs.

“We are going to make sure that we’re ready for Nationals,” Kucera said.

One of the team’s goals is to win Nationals after finishing third last year, which was the best finish of all time for a non-scholarship team.

“We are a really good team,” Kucera said. “But as a whole we just need to work on our confidence a little before Nationals.”