February 19, 2013

GYMNASTICS | Gymnastics Posts Season-High Score, Places Second Behind Towson

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On Sunday afternoon, the Cornell gymnastics team earned its highest overall score of the season, scoring a 192.250. After three rotations the Red was in the lead at the Shelli Calloway Invitational at Towson University. However, the Red posted its lowest score of the day on beam which allowed Towson, with a strong performance on floor, to pass the Red. Cornell finished second behind Towson’s 193.275. Finishing in third place was Temple with 190.600 and Ursinus finished the meet in fourth with 182.425.

Although the second place finish is not what the team hoped for, they said there are plenty of positives to take from the meet.

“This past week, we really tried to focus on building confidence and consistency in our routines at practice,” said senior tri-captain Ashley Maher. “We’ve been putting in the numbers every day, but it’s important to be able to go out there knowing we’re going to hit, and I think that’s what made the difference this week. We went in with a different mentality, kept the energy up and didn’t hold back on any of our skills.”

The Red’s strong performance Sunday was led by junior Alexis Schupp, who scored a meet high on the bars with a 9.725 — one of five Cornell gymnasts who finished in the top three. The Red dominated the bars with junior Elise Kerner also finishing in third posting a 9.675 — a personal best. Senior tri-captain Sarah Hein also finished in fifth on the bars and ended up in second on the floor posting a 9.825 — her personal best.

The Red received great scores from the freshmen on Sunday as well with two of them finishing in the top three. Freshman Hannah Clark left the meet with a second place finish on beam and freshman Madeline Martinez finished in second as well on the vault. On beam, an event the Red has struggled with this season, it was exciting to see a strong performance from Clark.

“We definitely had some improvement on beam this week. Unfortunately we still had to count a couple of falls, but we did have some standout performances … Hannah Clark hit a beautiful beam set and was rewarded with an impressive season high of 9.775,” said Hein.

Sophomore Christie Wong also had a solid beam routine for the Red — scoring a 9.700 and finishing in fifth place.

“Christie Wong has also been a consistent competitor on beam the past three weeks. She’s been building her consistency week after week, along with her confidence,” said Hein.

Going into next week’s Ivy League Classic at Yale, the Red is optimistic that the team’s steady improvement over the course of the season will continue, in part due to the successes the freshmen class has achieved.

“With nine freshmen on our team this year, they have played a huge role in our lineups and have really stepped up to the challenge. It’s a new experience to compete at the college level, but they have adjusted well and continue to improve week after week,” said Maher.

The Red looks to stay focused this week and prepare psychically and mentally for the Ivy League Classic next Saturday against Brown, Penn and Yale. Last year, the Red finished second after being narrowly defeated by Penn. The Red is aware of the importance of this meet but is focusing on perfecting the team’s own routines.

“Ivies is a really exciting meet and we look forward to performing what we’ve trained all year to do. It would be great to take home another Ivy title, but right now our focus is on us and what we need to do to have our best performance of the season,” said Maher.

While the Red has shown its talent and depth at all four events, the squad is still seeking to perform well at all four events in one meet. The team’s performance on Sunday at the Shelli Calloway Invitational at Towson, however, was a step in the right direction and has senior tri-captain McKenna Archer excited about the Red’s potential performance at the Ivy Classic.

“I think this weekend hinted at how strong of a team we have this year. Every person in our lineup on all our events has huge scoring potential and we’re just working on putting it all together. We hit our season high even with some mistakes on bars and beam, which is exciting because it means we can still score much higher,” she said.

Original Author: Tucker Maggio-Hucek