Penn gymnastics celebrated Valentine’s Day with a little heart both on and off the mat.
On Sunday afternoon at Hutchinson Gymnasium, the Quakers scored a season-high 190.850 en route to a second-place finish in the “Think Pink” meet. Rutgers won the meet with a 193.765, and West Chester finished third with a 190.650, breaking its school-record for the second straight week.
Penn Gymnastics sold $10 t-shirts at the meet, with all proceeds going toward the Unite for Foundation, which promotes breast cancer awareness and provides programs targeted toward women diagnosed with breast cancer.
On the mat, the Quakers continued to show improvement, as they increased their meet score for the third consecutive week.
Coach John summed it up simply: “We’re moving in the right direction.”
The Red and Blue started the day out on vault — their weakest routine from the previous week — notching a 47.9, an improvement of over eight tenths. Going into the second apparatus, all three squads were within one tenth of a point of each other.
A couple of falters on beam allowed Rutgers to put some breathing room between itself and the rest of the competition. Rutgers wouldn’t look back, as it got stronger with each event, which culminated in a 48.975 bars score.
To their credit, the Red and Blue finished strong on beam and floor, allowing them to narrowly edge West Chester, which had led Penn going into the final event.
“I like the idea that we focused on our last two events,” Ceralde said.
Sophomore Carissa led the Quakers in both events, receiving 9.725’s in both events.
Meanwhile, freshman Kelly , coming off a performance earning her ECAC Rookie of the Week, put up scores of 9.7 and 9.5 in those events respectively, as Penn posted its highest floor score of the season.
“There’s a little more pressure,” Tan said of competing after earning Rookie of the Week honors. “I went in trying to focus on what I know how to do.”
Hopefully for the Red and Blue, they’ll be able to continue their upward trend in Providence next week at the Ivy Classic, where they’ll face competition including current Ivy powerhouses Brown and Cornell, the letter of whom they’ve dropped to twice so far.
“Our preparation is to try to peak next week,” Ceralde said.
The Quakers are hoping that the third time is the charm when facing the Big Red, who have already defeated Penn twice this season.
In the meantime, Penn can enjoy its third straight season-high performance.
“It was our pink meet, so we really wanted to do well,” Tan said. “I’m proud of what we did.”
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