In its most successful meet of the season to date, gymnastics placed first out of four teams at Southern Connecticut State on Sunday. The Red tallied 189.350 points, edging out the host by a narrow 2.125 points.
Although the meet was delayed due to some faulty equipment and a judge falling ill, Cornell jumped out and was ready to go against Southern Connecticut, Brockport and Springfield College.
The Red earned three team first-place finishes — in vault, floor and beam, earning 48.125, 47.650 and 48.550 points, respectively. Cornell also earned second place on bars, with a 45.025 finish.
Individually, Cornellians cinched the first and second-place spots in all four events. Senior Maci Prescott scored a 9.750 on vault, junior Amy Shen scored 9.625 on bars, sophomore Miranda Lund earned 9.800 on beam and junior Madison Smith scored a 9.750 on floor.
But that second-place finish on bars signified a weakness for the Red.
“We just need a lot of work and there’s not a lot of confidence … We have a lot of injuries on bars,” said head coach Paul Beckwith. “Last year, we were scoring up at 48 on a regular basis and [now] we’ve been between 43-47.”
Many of the Cornell gymnasts are returning from injuries this season, largely causing the team’s slow start.
“Shen is on her way [to coming back from injury],” Beckwith said. “She vaulted for the first time this week and she did bars today… [junior] Izzy Herczeg is coming back — [she’s an] All-American on floor and on beam the last two years.”
Shen suffered a knee injury last season and is fighting to get back into competition.
“I’m excited to be back,” Shen said. “Recovery was a little tough … My knee definitely still has a ways to go. I’m still adjusting a little bit to how my knee feels doing certain things, but it’s really exciting.”
But in the absence of the injured athletes, many of the freshmen have gotten the chance to compete in the meets. Sunday’s meet saw freshmen Amy Krueger on vault, Katie Fitzpatrick and Darby Kent on bars and Victoria DeMeo on floor and beam.
“We’re hoping to bring back the Ivy title to Cornell,” junior Claire Haklik said. “It’s been two years since we’ve won it.”
The team takes on Penn next at home on Feb. 2 at 1 p.m.