February 21, 2011

Gymnastics Finishes Fourth at Towson

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Despite some tough circumstances, including an injury and a rocky start on the balance beam, the Cornell gymnastics team still had a solid performance this weekend against Penn, Temple, Towson and Ursinus. The Red finished fourth at Towson’s Shelly Calloway Invitational on Sunday with a score of 190.800, placing fourth. The Red opened the competition on balance beam. During warm-ups, freshman all-arounder Melanie Jorgenson was injured. After some quick rearranging, junior teammate Tiffany Chen stepped in and took Jorgenson’s spot on beam. Cornell’s top performances on beam included junior Melanie Standridge with a 9.700 and senior Danielle Scott with a 9.550. Despite some stiff judging and a few falls, the team rallied together and had some outstanding performances on floor, vault and bars. “We started out slow, but we were able to put it behind us and do well in the other three events,” said senior Emily Santoro.Senior Maddie Pearsall and sophomore Sarah Hein had Cornell’s top performances on floor with a 9.775 and a 9.750, respectively. Vault was the top event for the Red with two career-best performances from Santoro and sophomore McKenna Archer. Santoro received a 9.875 and Archer earned a 9.850. One judge gave both performances a 9.900. Cornell had another solid event on the bars with a 9.725 from freshman Alexis Schupp and a 9.600 from Hein. “It was a really solid day,” said assistant coach Melanie Dilliplane about the competition this weekend. However, the team is looking to the pivotal Ivy League Championship meet this weekend. “We are going to train especially hard this week in preparation for it. …We are looking forward to beating Penn and all the other Ivies to win,” Santoro said. Winning the Ivies this weekend is not only extremely important to the girls on the team but also to everyone who has invested in the team over the past four year, according to the Red coaches. “If we win this year — actually, when we win this year — it will be four in a row. Cornell, as a gymnastics team, has never done that before,” Dilliplane. Besides the endless pressure sets and routines the Red will do at practice, the women will also participate in spirit week. To help the Red get excited and bring home the Ivy win, the women organize spirit week — every day there will be a different theme for practice. “We are doing a spirit week this week. …It will help us get excited for this weekend,” Santoro said.The Red looked at the meet this weekend as a tune-up before Ivies. The Red knows what it needs to work on and knows how to train this week for the big competition. “I truly think we have the best team. …in the Ivy League,” Dilliplane said. “While we didn’t beat Penn this weekend, if we put it all together we are a much more talented team.”

Original Author: Karen Schillinger