Leilani Burke/Sun Staff Photographer

Sophomore Eva Phair doing a full twist dismount off the balance beam at the competition against West Chester on Jan. 23, 2022.

March 28, 2022

Sydney Beers Wins Vault at GEC Championships, Voted Newcomer of the Year

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Freshman Sydney Beers pulled off a stunning win at the Gymnastics East Conference Championships on Saturday, scoring 9.850 on vault to beat out the competition by 0.025 of a point. 

Beers overtook Brown’s Angela Xing and Julia Bedell and University of Pennsylvania’s Kiersten Belkoff to earn the title of best vault gymnast in the conference. It’s a well-deserved outcome for one of Cornell’s most promising athletes.

Xing, Bedell and Belkoff all scored 9.825, tying for second in the event. While Cornell sophomore Calista Brady and senior Donna Webster tied three other gymnasts for fifth place.

As a team, the Red performed well. Four gymnasts finished in the top five of their events including Beers, Brady and Webster. 

Sophomore Regina Walton tied for sixth on the balance beam with a score of 9.825. Freshman Kate Michelini led the team on bars in 25th place and Miranda Lund led on floor, tying for 17th.

The collective effort was strong enough for the team to place sixth out of eight.

Penn walked away with the inaugural GEC Championship after cracking their program record of 196.225 with a 196.950. Brown followed in second place with a 195.975, and West Chester in third with 195.250.

“Over the past two weekends the team has grown so much,” Sydney Beers said of the Big Red’s preparation for the postseason. “We went into GEC’s with the attitude of leaving it all out on the floor.”

Head Coach Melanie Hall’s decision to rest Beers in the final regular season meet against West Chester paid off in spades. Being the Red’s premier all-around gymnast, Beers competed in nearly every event of the season before being given the final week off.

With mounting accolades and consistent first place titles, it’s easy to forget that Beers is only in her first year.

“Going into my first conference championship, I was more excited than nervous,” Beers said. “I competed with the mindset of doing one skill at a time and not letting the pressure get to me.”

Beers has enjoyed equally strong performances across events throughout the season, but says she has particularly savored her time on vault.

“Vault has been one of my favorite events to compete this year,” Beers said. “It is the one event that I go into and am able to completely relax and have fun.”

Later in the night, after the competition, Beers would be named 2022 GEC Newcomer of the Year along with Yale’s Sherry Wang at the conference banquet.

“When I was named newcomer of the year I was genuinely surprised,” Beers said. “It was such an amazing feeling knowing that all my hard work throughout the season was noticed and paid off.”

Beers had an outstanding first season at Cornell. 

“My freshman season was better than I could have ever imagined,” Beers said. “I learned how to have fun when I compete and that is game-changing.”

Beers is preparing to compete in one more competition before the end of the 21-22 season. 

“We have one more competition this season, nationals, at home, and I can’t wait,” Beers said. 

Cornell is hosting USA Gymnastics Collegiate Nationals the weekend of April 8.