March 3, 2009

Gymnastics Wins Second Consecutive Ivy Title

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The gymnastics team repeated as champions at the annual Ivy Classic this past weekend in New Haven, Conn. The Red dominated the competition, posting a 190.800, more than two full points higher than runner-up Brown. The Red came out of the gate strong, winning what has consistently been their weakest event throughout the season, balance beam. Freshman Melanie Standridge tied for the top spot, scoring a 9.775 along with Yale’s Alina Liao.
“It was our first event,” said sophomore Maddie Pearsall. “So it was great to start off strong on it because it’s been so shaky for us for most of the season. It gave us even more confidence and we were able to build upon it.”[img_assist|nid=35707|title=Championship pose|desc=Freshman Melanie Standridge tied for first in the beam on Saturday, one of the Red’s weakest events.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Red went on to win vault and bars as well. Sophomore Kerri Lavallee posted the high score on vault with a 9.825, .050 points ahead of second place finisher, teammate Sari Tepper. Molly Parker and Pearsall tied for second on bars with a 9.725.
“We knew going in that if we did everything the same way that we had been all season things would turn out the way we wanted them to,” Pearsall said. “It was so great to have so many people placing [in the top spots].”
Despite the commanding victory, it was still not the Red’s best performance of the season. The Red posted better scores earlier in the season, versus both Brockport and Towson.
“It’s definitely comforting to know that we can still win Ivies without being on the top of our game,” said sophomore Irene Leung, also Sun Associate Design Editor, who posted a 9.450 on vault and a 9.050 on beam. “It’s nice to consistently be [scoring] right around 190, but we know that if we want to win [the ECAC Championship] we’ve got to go way higher. We still had to count three falls this weekend, so we know we’re still not close to perfecting anything.”
The Red is happy to retain its title of Ivy League Champions for another season, but is not spending too much time dwelling on the past. Rather the team is focused on the future and continuing to improve week in and week out.
“We all know that looking ahead, the level of competition is going to be much higher,” Leung said. “It’s nice to gain confidence from winning Ivies but at the same time we’re all humbled because we know that we weren’t close to having a perfect meet.”
“It’s a nice feeling to have a successful performance at Ivys behind us,” Pearsall added. “Having that should keep us motivated and help us get through the rest of our season.”