Senior captain Diana Moock holds her handstand on the high bar before she drops to do a clear hip.
Nearly falling over, she stays there fighting with every muscle in her body to keep on top of the bar and come down to finish the routine cleanly. And she does.
“You fight for every tenth and you fight for every hand stand and you never give up so I knew to keep this meet moving I wanted to make my skills so I just pulled it over,” Moock said.
This one moment epitomizes the competition on Saturday for the Quakers.
The Red and Blue fought for every tenth to pull it together and, for the first time this season, surpass the 190 mark placing second behind Temple with 190.550.
“It feels really awesome, Moock said. “It’s definitely a big marker in gymnastics and especially for our team this year I even think we can do a lot better.”
“It helps the team mentally,” Ceralde said. “Knowing their capabilities, we are moving in the right direction.”
With four teams competing, every event was going at the same time.
As the host team, the Quakers went in Olympic order, starting on vault.
Though the scores don’t necessarily reflect it, Penn had a strong vault, which has been one of the strongest events for the team this season.
Freshman Jill Fordiani started off the meet for the Red and Blue with a Yurchenko layout scoring 9.40.
After, Penn headed to the uneven bars-the least consistent event of the Quakers all season.
This weekend, however, the tide turned. Overall, Penn scored higher on bars, with a 47.575, than on vault. In addition, only one gymnast fell in her routine, a significant switch from a couple of weeks ago when they did not make one routine without a fall.
“The assignments on both bars and beam this past week have been a lot of pressure sets where everyone stops and watches to put that extra pressure and put you in that meet situation,” Moock said.
“So the assignments have been helping us.”
Junior Makeda Constable anchored the team landing a double-layout dismount and scoring 9.625 as the top-scoring Penn gymnast on the apparatus.
The Quakers then moved onto the balance beam, which ended up being their highest scoring event, recording 48.150.
Moock started off strong for the Red and Blue recording a 9.550.
The momentum continued throughout the event and not one score dipped into the eights. Anchor Amber Woo wowed the crowd with her mount and posted 9.675.
With that the Quakers moved on to their fourth and final event, the floor exercise.
The Red and Blue experienced trouble right from the start. Leader Morgan Venuti fell on her second pass. This put the pressure onto the next five gymnasts to hit their routines. Unfortunately, the Quakers had one more fall from Carissa Lim on her last pass and had to count a lower score than they would have liked.
However, even with the falls, floor was the Red and Blue’s second highest score, 47.750.
As the meet got better and better for Penn, Brockport and Courtland experienced trouble and had to count some falls.
“Overall the team did amazing,” Moock said. “[We] made huge improvements with consistency and we are looking forward to surpassing the 190s for the rest of the season.”
This is the best performance the Quakers have had yet this season. Only time will tell if this is the turn of the tide they have been waiting for or if this weekend was an anomaly.
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