This weekend the Cornell gymnastics team hosted a tri-meet against Ithaca College and Towson; however, this meet was not only about the exercises that would take place in the gym. The Red also held a fundraiser for a friend and fellow gymnast, Kathryn Mahoney of Michigan State, who fractured her neck in December during practice. The fundraiser inspired the team to achieve its potential against Towson and Ithaca College as senior Emily Santoro explained.
“Everyone went into the meet pretty excited because we knew it was going to be one of our bigger competitions and because of the fundraiser for Kathryn,” she said.
Overall the Red finished with a score of 191.200, falling short of a Towson squad that put up 192.500 points, but beating Ithaca’s third place finishing score of 183.975.
“It was a really good performance for us as a team overall,” Santoro said.
Head coach Paul Beckwith echoed Santoro’s sentiments.
“We did really well. We got through another meet without having to count a fall on anything. … We won two out of the four events as a team,” he said.
There were some stunning individual performances. Santoro won vault with a 9.700, sophomore Sarah Hein took home the bars with a 9.675, junior Melanie Standridge was victorious with a 9.800 on beam and senior Maddie Pearsall tied Santoro on the floor with a winning score of 9.775. The Red had an individual win in each event despite ultimately falling to Towson in what was the first of consecutive matches against the Tigers.
“We compete against Towson next weekend so hopefully we will be able to beat them,” Santoro added.
Mahoney, who knows many of the Cornell gymnasts, including training partner Pearsall, motivated many of the performances this weekend according to the Red gymnasts. Fans were told prior to the meet to wear either red to support Cornell or green to show their support for Mahoney. The team asked for donations and made an announcement during the competition that it had raised over $600.
“[Mahoney] is still recovering. … She has made progress, but she still has a long way to go. These funds will just help with the little expenses along the way,” Santoro said.
The injury was not covered by insurance and there is currently a national fund to help raise money for Mahoney and her recovery process. Over 400 people attended the competition this weekend to support these efforts.
“There were people standing and sitting all over — everywhere. … It’s definitely the biggest crowd we have ever had in Teagle,” Beckwith said.
The season isn’t over yet for the Red, as it will compete next weekend in a big meet against five schools and then compete for the Ivy League title the following weekend.
“I feel really positive about next weekend,” Beckwith said. “That will be a nice big meet and then we will get ready for Ivies the following weekend.”
Original Author: Karen Schillinger