Brittney Chew / Sun File Photo

Cornell finished in second place out of four teams.

February 4, 2019

Lyanda Dudley Recovers from ACL Injury to Lead Gymnastics Team During Her Final Season

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The women’s gymnastics team lost to the University of Pennsylvania this past weekend, earning a score of 191.125 against the latter’s 193.900.

Despite the disappointing defeat, Cornell triumphed over the other two schools competing in the meet, beating Brown University’s 191.000 and Ursinus College’s 183.025.

Associate head coach Melanie Hall said the team’s effort during the meet was strong.

“Once again we had some strong performances on every event,” Hall said. “Scoring was a bit low on bars and beam, but overall the team did well. We were very consistent on vault and as a team and took first place on that event. It continues to be a solid event for us.”

Various performances drove Cornell to its second-place finish, including freshman Sara Maughan, junior Maci Prescott and senior Lyanda Dudley’s 9.650 scores on vault. Prescott is up 0.1 from her 9.550 score last weekend. Dudley, a senior, also scored a team high 9.825 on bars, and senior Kaitlin Green performed best on the beam with a score of 9.675. On floor, junior Samantha Henry and sophomore Claire Haklik scored 9.800.

Individually, the team performed most strongly on vault with a score of 48.100 given the three high scores by Maughan, Prescott and Dudley. With the Red’s bars, beam and floor earning scores consistently in the mid-47 range (47.825, 47.525, 47.675), beam and floor are areas where the team has room for improvement.

One of the team’s goals for this season was improving its consistency. Given the similar scores over the first few meets of the season, the Red is working well toward its goal.

Dudley came back with a vengeance this season after tearing her ACL last year and taking a break during her junior year. She is now co-captain, and has been working hard every week.

“I spent the first seven to eight months doing lots of rehab, pool therapy and lifting,” Dudley said. “The key to getting all my skills back was building up enough strength and stability so that I could be confident my knee could handle them.”

Her work has paid off, as evidenced by her high scores at her team’s most recent meet.

“Lyanda was a huge asset to this team her freshman and sophomore years, setting many personal and team records,” Hall said. “Her return to our vault, bars and beam lineups is incredibly impactful. She is very consistent which is key to our team score.”

Despite the debilitating injury she experienced, Dudley has been consistently and confidently leading her team. She has pushed herself over the past year to regain her skills.

“Personal goals for the rest of season include beating my personal high-score of 9.85 on bars and making event finals at nationals,” Dudley said.

Finally back from the tough injury, Dudley said she hopes her hard work inspires the team going forward.

“I think our biggest hope is the team continues pushing forward with the incredible momentum we’ve gained over the past four years,” Dudley said. “Personally, the legacy I hope to leave this team is that the hard work and attitude you put into any experience is exactly what you will get out of it.”

The Red will host SUNY Brockport and Ithaca College at Teagle Gymnasium on Saturday.