The Cornell gymnastics team headed to Colorado Springs, Colo. last weekend for the Gymnastics National Championships hosted by Air Force. Although the Red just missed team finals on Saturday with a preliminary score of 192.575, the team had some outstanding individual performances. The Red came home with five All-Americans and two individual event winners.
Cornell left Ithaca last Wednesday, practiced on Thursday and competed throughout the weekend. On Friday, the women competed in the team preliminary competition, in which they ended up fourth overall behind and Air Force.
On vault, junior Tiffany Chen made Sunday’s individual competition with a 9.725. Other Top-10 performances on vault were those of sophomore Sarah Hein, senior Emily Santoro and senior Kerri Lavallee, who all scored 9.650.
On bars, freshman Melanie Jorgensen had the highest score of the session with a 9.825, qualifying her for the individual finals. Junior Bethany Neczypor also made Sunday’s competition placing fourth in the session with a 9.775.
Junior Melanie Standridge continued her domination on beam with a 9.900, which was her highest finish of the session. Neczypor also moved onto individual beam finals with a 9.725. Jorgensen finished ninth on beam with a 9.675. Santoro finished 11th on floor, just missing the Top-10 with a 9.675.
“While we were pretty disappointed that we didn’t make team finals, we are really proud of the entire team. They did a fantastic job,” said Red assisant coach Melanie Dilliplane.
On Sunday, those gymnasts who qualified for individual events competed and had strong performances. All the Cornell gymnasts who competed on Sunday finished with All-American honors. Chen finished 13th on vault with a 9.037, giving her second-team All-American honors. Jorgensen took home a national title on bars with a 9.800 and Standridge won beam with a 9.850. Neczypor finished as an All-American on both bars and beam. She placed sixth on bars with a 9.700 and seventh on beam with a 9.500.
“It was a fantastic day for the Red and another successful championship, ending a spectacular 2011 season,” Dilliplane said.
However, as this season comes to a close, the freshmen shared excitement for their next three years.
“I think all of the freshmen and I would agree that we’re looking forward to beating Penn and bringing the Ivy trophy back home next season,” exclaimed freshman Elise Kerner.
Classmate Alexis Schupp is also looking forward to competing with the team again.
“Next season I look forward to coming back and being able to compete in another strong season with the team,” she said.
“This first season being on the team has been so much fun and definitely a new learning experience, and it makes me excited for the next three years … we are looking to go above and beyond what we have done this year,” said freshman Mackenzie Sato.
Original Author: Karen Schillinger