February 24, 2009

Gymnastics, Crippled, Loses Tight Meet Against Towson

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The gymnastics team made its annual trek down to Towson, Md. this weekend to compete in the Shelli Calloway Invitational. The Red was forced to deal with adversity, as several members of the squad were sick. Still, the Red posted a gutsy 190.650, ultimately falling to host Towson for the second straight week, but beating Ivy League rival Penn and ECAC foe Ursinus.
“I think we did a really good job this weekend,” said senior tri-captain Sari Tepper, who finished with a 9.600 on vault and a 9.200 on floor. “Considering a large portion of our team was sick and one of our coaches couldn’t make the trip down with us, we’re very happy. Everyone did a great job of doing what they were supposed to do and pulling through as a team.”
[img_assist|nid=35486|title=Fine lines|desc=The gymanstics team took a tough loss to Towson for the second straight weekend, but defeated Ivy rival Penn.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Red began the meet on bars, with freshman Bethany Neczypor topping all Red performers with a 9.6. Classmate Melanie Standridge led the way for the Red on the balance beam with a 9.800, tied for first in the event.
“We started out on bars, and it went really well,” Tepper said. “We were all really excited. Then our performance on beam was not what we had hoped for. It’s kind of been our weak point for most of the year.”
As what has normally been the case for the Red, vault and floor were its strongest team events. Sophomore Kerri Lavallee finished third in the meet with a 9.775 on vault, one of five different Red teammates to post a 9.600 or better. Junior Emily Lenk led the way for the Red on floor with a score of 9.775.
“Everybody on vault and floor did very well,” Tepper said. “We were all psyched.”
As the team heads into a week of practice during which it will be preparing for the biggest meet of the season, the Ivy Classic in New Haven, Conn., the excitement level is at an all-time high. Despite the excitement and added level of intensity, the Red will take the same approach as always –– focusing on doing everything it can in order to get better.
“Bars hasn’t been great for us recently,” Standridge said. “So we’ll be looking to improve on that and limit the falls. We’ll probably try to work on beam, too, and try to finish higher as a team. But overall we’ve been doing well, so we know that if we just keep everything pretty much the same, we should be okay.”
The Red will enter the Ivy Classic as defending champions and the favorite to win the meet again. The team currently sits in fourth place in the ECAC, ahead of all Ancient Eight opponents.
“We won last year, and everybody who was a part of that team knows how good it felt,” Tepper said. “We know that we can win, and we know that if we do what we’ve been doing the whole year, we will win.”