On a dark and rainy night, the Nalitt Family Center was full of warmth for the first exhibition of the year for Penn gymnastics at the Philadelphia Jamboree.
Penn and Temple had the opportunity to show off their skills in a low-pressure environment in front of a home crowd.
“It gives us a good benchmark of where we are,” senior captain Diana Moock said. “Having another team here was actually really fun. Penn gymnastics and Temple gymnastics are really close because of proximity as well as [the fact that] not a lot of schools [have] gymnastics, so it’s really fun to see them at a meet as well as ECACs.”
The exhibition went in traditional Olympic order with the Quakers and Owls competing on each event before moving to the next.
The Red and Blue began with an impressive showing on the vault. Out of eight, there was only one fall. Sophomore Carissa Lim finished out the eight with a Yurchenko full.
Penn performed well on all of its vaults and only faltered by taking a few steps on the landings.
Freshman Kelly Tan started off the Quakers on bars. She performed a clean routine with a stuck double back dismount.
Her strong start was followed by many clean routines from the Red and Blue.
The informality of the meet allowed for routines to be performed on the set of bars over the pit — a rare occurrence in a meet-like situation.
Freshman Maiko Suarez, sophomore Amber Hu and junior Makeda Constable all performed their bar routines on this set of bars.
Before competing in the next event, the Quakers received a pep talk from Moock prior to what some consider the most nerve-racking event in gymnastics — the balance beam.
The Red and Blue let their nerves get to them, and the first two gymnasts up fell once each.
It would be only Lim, Moock and Hu who would hit their beam routines.
Floor was the Quakers’ time to shine.
“I really think we did really well on floor,” Moock said. “I think at the end of the day, looking back, people are going to be proud of what they did on floor, especially because it’s an event that requires a ton of endurance and a ton of practice.”
Almost every gymnast opened her routine with a double tuck or double pike.
The relaxed nature of the meet allowed for coach John Ceralde to spot gymnasts on skills in which they were still not fully confident.
“The inter-quad is to see where we are at this point in time. I spot the kids because I don’t want to take chances on anyone getting hurt,” Ceralde said.
What the Quakers were able to show to an audience for the first time on Friday was a team not lacking depth or strength. Though their beloved graduated seniors are missed, this team is full of talent and ready for a competitive 2014 season.
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