March 12, 2012

GYMNASTICS | Cornell Falls to Brown, Looks Ahead to Nationals

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Cornell struggled this weekend against Brown, losing on Sunday in what was the team’s lowest scoring meet of the season. It was only the second time in 15 years that Brown has defeated Cornell, a mark that added to the team’s overall disappointment.

“It was our lowest scoring meet of the year,” said head coach Paul Beckwith. “Two judges were throwing out scores lower than we’ve seen all year.”

Cornell and Brown recorded their lowest scores of the season in the meet; however, the Bears were ultimately able to overtake the Red, 189.300-187.200.

“It’s hard when people on the team do good things, and don’t get rewarded for it,” Beckwith said.

The scores for the meet were determined by previous Olympic judges, which Beckwith said he believes might have affected the outcome of the competition.

“They’re used to judging at the international level, which is more harsh,” he said. “They were more likely to take the maximum deductions.”

Several members of the team gave solid performances, claiming top finishes in two of the four events, although the team, as a whole, lost. Senior Tiffany Chen was an individual winner on vault, posting a 9.750, while junior McKenna Archer was not far behind, posting a 9.650 which placed her second overall.

“Chen and [junior McKenna] Archer both had one of their best performances on vault all year,” Beckwith said. “The scores were not indicative of that … but they did really well.”

Senior Melanie Standridge placed first on beam with a 9.775, with sophomore Melanie Jorgensen not far behind, placing second overall with a 9.550. Sophomore Lexi Schupp placed third on bars with a team high 9.550. Sophomore Mackenzie Sato gave the Red its top performance on floor, 9.575, which tied her for fifth overall.

The team will head into two competitions over spring break, the first coming this Sunday at Kent State, where, according to Beckwith, the Red hopes to score well in order to claim a spot in the 2012 USAG Collegiate Nationals. The matchup will be a challenging one, as the Red has lost all four competitions against Kent State previously. The team, however, is optimistic about its chances.

“We’re looking forward to Kent State,” Beckwith said. “They went to the NCAA championships last year, and are a strong team. It will be a good crowd there, and should be an exciting meet.”

The following weekend Cornell will compete in the ECAC Championships in Philadelphia, Pa., where the coach hopes the Red will be able to defend its title.

“ECAC is always a big meet for us,” Beckwith said. “We won last year for the first time.”

Cornell is preparing to have several team members qualify for the USA Collegiate National Championships that will take place at the very end of the season.

“We will see how that pans out in the next couple of meets,” Beckwith said. “I think we’ll start back on a better track this weekend.”

Original Author: Rebecca Velez