Penn tops 192 but finishes second




It seems that every time the Penn gymnastics team has a meet, it validates the notion that this is the best squad Penn’s had in a while.

Saturday afternoon at the Shelli Calloway Memorial Towson Invitational in Maryland, Penn finished second at the four-team meet, scoring a 192.1, its second-highest score of the season. The Quakers finished behind perennial champion Towson, but in front of Cornell and Ursinus.

Before two weekends ago, the Red and Blue hadn’t notched a 192 or above since 2006-07. Now, they’ve reached 192 in two consecutive meets, a feat no Penn squad has managed since 2003-04. That year, current head man John Ceralde won ECAC Assistant Coach of the Year.

On the heels of those two strong performances, the Quakers are averaging over 192 over their past five meets.

The Tigers, winners of the last nine Towson Ivitationals, scored a 194.1 — only 0.2 points behind what a top-25 team averages.

The fact that Cornell, an Ivy League foe, finished with a 189.1, a solid three points behind Penn, is illustrative of how dominant the Quakers’ performance was. The result could be an indication of how next week’s Ivy Classic in Ithaca, N.Y. will unfold.

The Quakers were especially strong on uneven bars, earning the highest team score on the exercise, a 48.5. Kirsten Strausbaugh, a junior coming off her career-best performance from last week, posted the highest individual score on the bars, 9.825, en route to earning the fourth highest all-around score.

Five Red and Blue gymnasts set or tied their season-high scores on the bars, easily setting a new season-high team score for the event.

Freshman Amber Woo led Penn’s all-around gymnasts, earning 38.35, the third best all-around score. She also posted her season-high score on the balance beam, a 9.775.

— Steven Jaffe

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