Getting healthy was all it took for the Penn gymnastics team to have its best performance of the season.
At yesterday’s Shelli Calloway Invitational in Towson, Md., the Quakers recorded their highest score this season, with 186.4. The strong performance put them in third place out of five participating teams.
The Red and Blue have been battling injuries all year, but the full returns of sophomore Laura DiPaolo and freshman Kirsten Strausbaugh last week, along with the recovery of top freshman and 2009 Washington State champion Dana Bonincontri, have given the team the momentum it needs going into the end of its season.
Their return had its greatest impact on the team’s performance in the bars. After the Quakers recorded a season-best 46.95 last week at Brown, second-place finishes from both DiPaolo and Bonincontri boosted the team to a score of 47.45.
In the end, though, Saturday’s impressive showing required an all-around team effort. Penn had its second-highest score of the year on the vault (46.65), and freshman Megan Milavec and junior Elise Bowe had season-high scores on the beam.
What sealed Saturday’s result for the Quakers was their victories over Temple and Ursinus, two teams that defeated Penn at the Liberty Classic on Feb. 7.
This turnaround should be an indicator of future succes as the team heads into the Ivy Classic — the equivalent of Ivy Championships for gymnastics — next week in Providence, R.I. and ECAC Championships at the end of March.
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