February 25, 2013

GYMNASTICS | Red Sets Record, Finishes Second­

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The Cornell gymnastics team continued its upward trend, posting a season-high score, 193.025, for the second week in a row at the Ivy Classic Saturday. The Red had a strong performance in all four events, but finished second  behind Brown.

The Bears won their first Ivy League title since 1990 with a season high score of 193.825. Penn finished in third with a score of 191.600 and Yale ended the day in fourth with a 191.100.

Despite the second place finish, the Red was pleased with the results.

“We walked into the meet with the goal to hit all of our routines and to have the best performance of the year, and that is certainly what we achieved as a team,” junior Alexis Schupp said.

The Red’s continued improvement led the team to score over 48 points on all four events for the first time this season. Senior tri-captain Sarah Hein said that the team’s focus on consistency at practice helped instill the confidence needed to perform well as a team.

“Our focus was consistency across all four events,” she said. “We started on beam, where we knew we’ve had some troubles in the past. The beam line-up did their job though. … They gave us the strong start that we needed, and we kept the energy up throughout the remaining three events.”

The highlight of Saturday’s competition was Schupp’s performance. Her 9.825 on bars earned her first place in the event and the seventh highest score on bars in Cornell gymnastics history.

The Red had five Top-5 individual finishes on Saturday, including Schupp’s first place on bars. Senior tri-captain McKenna Archer finished in the Top-5 on vault and beam. Archer’s 9.775 on the vault earned her third place, and her 9.800 on beam captured fourth place in the event. Hein finished fifth on the floor, scoring a 9.700. Freshman Madeline Martinez had a strong vault and finished in fourth with a 9.750. Freshman Alicia Bair and Hein also performed well on vault. They each scored a 9.700 which left them tied for sixth.

The Red had four gymnasts finish in the Top-7 on vault, an event the team has consistently done well in this season. Martinez attributed the performance to the vaulters’ work ethic and natural ability.

“Everyone has been working hard in the gym and we have a lot of really talented vaulters this season,” she said. “We have remained consistent throughout the meets on vault while also working to stick our landings.”

The Red looks build on the confidence it gained at the Ivy Classic when the squad travels to New Jersey for a four-way meet against Rutgers, Brockport and William and Mary. The Scarlet Knights will pose a strong challenge to the Red. Rutgers as a team averages a 193.816 and has scored over a 195 points on two occasions this season. Brockport is a familiar opponent as the Red competed in a quad meet against the Golden Eagles earlier this season and finished in first by over three points.

Hein knows that the team’s main concern this week is its own self improvement.

“The focus this week is just maintenance. We definitely still have things we can improve on, so we’ll be working on the little things like the stuck landings and pointed toes … we have to keep the momentum going, and if we can stay focused and hit like we did last weekend while fixing some of the smaller things, we should be able to top our 193.025 this weekend.”

The Red has improved on its overall team score the last three meets and looks to continue that trend into Saturday’s meet at Rutgers. Scoring a season-high two weeks in a row has proven to Schupp that the team is ready to keep moving forward.

“We’ve finally proved that we are a 193+ team and now it is just a matter of making that score our baseline and building on it for the rest of the season.”

Original Author: Tucker Maggio-Hucek