February 12, 2009

Gymnasts Support (RED)

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In addition to being the gymnastics team’s biggest meet of the season thus far, the Red’s noon date with ECAC rival Towson at the Teagle Hall gymnasium this Saturday will also be a “Red Out” charity fundraiser. All proceeds will be donated to the Global fund for AIDS research. Given the magnitude of the meet in addition to the good karma for assisting in a good cause, the Red is expecting a big turnout on Saturday.
“We’re all pretty pumped for this weekend,” said sophomore Irene Leung, who is also a designer for The Sun. “Between the charity-meet, and the fact that we’re going up against Towson, we’re hoping for a big turnout.”
The distraction of planning the fundraiser has proved to be a pleasant distraction for the team, as the constant tension and pressure leading up to such a big meet can take a toll on the athletes.[img_assist|nid=35037|title=Bend and snap|desc=The gymanstics team’s meet against Townson this Saturday is also a fundraiser for the Global Fund for AIDS research.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“The whole charity-meet aspect has been a good distraction,” Leung said. “Week to week, constantly focusing on competing to the best of your ability really gets to you. This has been a beneficial way to put time and energy into another cause. It’s something else to compete for and takes the focus away from just ourselves.”
The Red head into the weekend with its confidence riding high; in its four meets thus far this season, the only schools the Red has placed behind have been nationally-ranked, and the team has maintained its third place ranking in the ECAC. Last year, the team proved to be neck and neck in competition with Towson. Towson beat them in the ECAC Championships before the Red came back and placed ahead of Towson at the national championships.
Still, the Cornell women are trying not to get ahead of themselves.
“We’re not focusing on any specific expectations,” said sophomore Maddie Pearsall. “We want to go out and have good meet. We just want to hit our routines, and meet the goal of having no falls, like always. If all of that comes together for us, we know we’ll be happy with our end result.”
Trying to improve on its performance at Penn State last weekend, the Red has worked extra hard as a team to improve on their bar routines.
“We had some trouble on bars [at Penn State],” Pearsall said. “The bars team has been working extremely hard to improve on last weekend, we’re definitely focusing extra energy on it. That being said, all four events are worth the same amount, so we want to keep up our other three up as well.”
Admission to this Saturday’s meet is free, but any donations would be greatly appreciated by the team. Everyone attending is encouraged to wear red, not only to support Cornell but to represent the (Red) a campaign to fight AIDS in Africa. A select number of free t-shirts will be distributed to members of the crowd.