Leilani Burke/Sun Staff Photographer

Freshman Kate Michelini on the balance beam at the competition against West Chester on Jan. 23, 2022.

March 16, 2022

West Chester Slips Past Cornell Gymnastics for Shocking Loss to End Season

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Cornell gymnastics fell to West Chester University in a nail biter that came down to a tenth of a point during their final meet of the regular season last Friday.

West Chester sneaked past the Red with a standout performance during the very last routine of Friday’s dual meet with a score of 193.625. The Golden Rams posted incredible scores of 9.875 and 9.925 on their final two floor routines to catapult them past the Red.

Cornell recorded its highest team score of the regular season, a staggering 193.525. Two gymnasts led the way with individual category wins in balance beam and vault. 

Senior Miranda Lund won first place in beam with a 9.800 and came third on floor with a 9.850. Fellow senior Donna Webster tied West Chester’s Kiah Johnson for first on vault, both posting a 9.775.

Another notable performance came from freshman Kate Michelini who finished as the runner up on the uneven bars. She scored a 9.825, a score that is tenth best in program history and a tie for her career best.

Other top finishers include sophomore Regina Walton placing third on vault, with Lund, sophomore Calista Brady and junior Amy Krueger all tying for fourth.

Even with the impressive individual performances and a season high team score, the Red’s efforts fell just short of West Chester’s 193.625, by only a tenth of a point. 

Notably absent from Friday’s lineup was sophomore Sydney Beers. Beers, who was recently named first team All-Gymnastics East Conference (GEC) in the all-around, sat out of the event for the first time this season. While Beers was the only Cornellian to be named first team All-GEC, Michelini and Lund were named second team All-GEC for bars and floor while Beers was also named second team for floor.

“Friday’s meet was a lot of fun,” said Brady, who tied for fourth on vault. “There was a new sort of confidence that was shared by the whole team”.

The Red put on one of its best shows of the season at Friday’s meet, but slowed just enough in the end to be passed by West Chester.

“When it came to the last event, I think our energy just faded a little bit,” Brady explained. “It was a later meet and we finished on beam, which is always a challenge.”

Even with the competition neck and neck, Brady was entirely unaware of how close the meet really was while competing.

“I honestly had no clue whether we were winning or not going into the last event, but just like in any sport, the final result can be unpredictable,” she said.

The heartbreaking loss to end the regular season is a tough pill to swallow for the team, but Brady insists they remain positive. “In the end, we had our best meet yet, our best score yet, and we were proud of ourselves.”

“In gymnastics, it is more about these things than winning or losing, which can be hard for people to understand”, she continued. 

Brady concluded by simply stating, “That is just how it goes sometimes.”

The Red will head to Rhode Island to compete at the inaugural Gymnastics Eastern Conference Championships, which are scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday at Brown.