February 27, 2009

Gymnastics Heads to New Haven for Ivy Classic

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The gymnastics team is set to compete in its biggest meet of the season thus far, as it will travel to New Haven, Conn., to compete in the Ivy Classic, hosted by Yale. The Red enters the Classic as favorite to repeat as champion, as it currently is the highest ranked Ivy League team in addition to being undefeated in Ivy League competition on the season.
Last year, the Red posted a 191.800, easily beating second-place Yale by two full points in front of a capacity crowd at Teagle. Though the gymnasts remain confident in their abilities this year, they do admit that being expected to come out on top again does add extra pressure to their routines.
“There definitely is a sense of extra pressure,” said sophomore Kerri Lavallee. “Everybody is expecting us to win. At the same time, we’re confident that if we go out and do what we’ve been doing the entire season we will win.”
Members of the Red said that the intensity level this week at practice has been a notch higher than the rest of the season. Still, the Red is focused on staying within themselves and doing what they have been doing throughout the season.
“There’s definitely a combination of being confident and nervous heading into this weekend,” said sophomore Danielle Scott. “But it’s important for us to just do what we know how to do, because it’s been working for us all season long.”
So far this season, the Red has continually raised its level of play to the magnitude of the meet they are competing in. Though they lost the showdown with first-place Towson on February 14, they posted their highest score of the season in front of a loud, capacity crowd at Teagle.
“Bigger meets definitely get our adrenaline going more,” Lavallee said. “Having every Ivy team there and performing in front of a big crowd will definitely get us pumped, and most of the time that results in everything being bigger and better.”
For the new members of this year’s squad, the Ivy Classic will be the biggest meet of their young collegiate careers. Anticipating the meet can wear people down mentally, but the Red’s veterans are not worried about them.
“They’re really good,” Lavallee said. “I don’t think we’re worried about them, we’re excited for them. We’re just telling them to stay calm and keep doing the same things that they’ve been doing the entire season.”
Another important aspect of this weekend’s meet to the Red is the fact that the entire team will travel, which is normally not the case.
“It’ll be awesome to have the entire team there,” Scott said.