January 25, 2008

Gymnastics Visits Nearby Cortland in Local Battle

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After a couple of exhausting bus rides to and from Washington last weekend, the gymnastics team is happy to see a meet against nearby SUNY Cortland on tap for this coming Sunday.
The meet is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start on Sunday in Cortland, N.Y. Just a 25-minute bus ride from Ithaca, Cortland will be the site of a head-to-head matchup for the Red gymnastics team that is coming off of a fourth-place finish at the George Washington Invitational on Jan. 20. After an overall score of 185.975, the gymnasts are looking for even stronger results this weekend, as they no longer have the nerves that come with the first meet of the season hanging over their heads.
“We are all looking to improve our team score and to raise the team morale to get ready for our first home meet,” said freshman Irene Leung.
Leung explains that the head-to-head format will afford her and her teammates with opportunities to get more NCAA experience in a less pressure-filled environment.
“This time we’ll be able to focus more on the smaller details that really make the difference when it comes down to the final score,” said Leung, who is also a Sun staff member. “And without all the cameras there’ll be less pressure and hopefully more fun.”
As an all-around competitor, Leung will be taking part in all four events: vault, bars, beam and floor. Individually, she is looking to build on her own overall score of 37.300 at George Washington. Leung thinks that her performance on the beam this Sunday will be the key to improving.
“Of course staying on top of the beam is a big part of it,” Leung said. “No wobbles wouldn’t hurt either.”
The Red will be facing off against a Cortland team that is 2-0. The Red Dragons defeated West Chester on Jan. 12 by a convincing score of 179.475-169.85. The Red Dragons then used their momentum to propel them to a 181.525-175.80 victory over Brockport on Jan. 20.
The Red Dragons are headlined by freshman Kasey Cutler, who received ECAC Division III women’s gymnastics Rookie of the Week honors last week. The Red Dragons will also be looking to senior all-around competitor Brittany Wiesner for continued stellar results. Wiesner posted a 37.525 all-around score in the meet against Brockport, including a victory in Beam and a second-place finish in floor.
Cornell freshman Danielle Scott notes that the Red has been practicing over the last week in preparation for Sunday, and is looking to use this meet to build some momentum as it heads into the heart of the schedule.
“This meet will be a good precursor for the rest of the season,” Scott said. “We started out the season well and we can only get better from here. We all know that we can each improve in our own areas.”