Red just wasn’t enough this time around.
This weekend, the Red and Blue gymnastics squad beat their Ivy rival Cornell to earn their first victory at a tri-meet in the 2015-16 season. The Quakers finished 0.350 points ahead of the Big Red and 6.075 ahead of SUNY Cortland.
Coming off of a close second-place finish last weekend at home to neighboring West Chester, Penn finished the deal this weekend with a season high 190.800. For the second weekend in a row, the balance beam was a particular high point for the Quakers. The composite score on beam was 48.525, Penn’s best event score of the meet and the best team beam score of the three squads competing on Saturday.
Topping off the success was junior captain Rachel Graham. She scored a career best of 9.850 on the event which not only earned her first place, but also tied her score for fifth-best in program history. Graham was not the only one who excelled on beam, as teammates Kelly Tan and Ally Podsednik earned 9.725 and 9.700 respectively.
The Quakers also dominated on the floor. They earned 48.225, the best of the meet and no score dipped below 9.350. Kyra Levi earned the top score of the meet on the event with 9.750. Penn took five of the top six scores on floor, with only one Cornell gymnast, Alexandra Bourgeois, made it on to the leaderboard by taking second place.
However, for the second weekend in a row the Red and Blue struggled on bars, their first apparatus of the day. The Quakers failed to crack the top-three in the event. The highest scoring gymnast, senior Morgan Venuti, came in fourth with a score of 9.625. The Big Red, on the other hand, were dominant. Cornell claimed the top three and fifth spots, earning a team event score of 48.100, the highest of the three squads.
But the Quakers gained their momentum back when they moved to the vault; it would be the beginning of a series of successes. Podsednik kicked off her success, scoring 9.625 and winning the event. Penn went on to earn 47.400 on the event, bringing their running score to 94.050, still behind the Big Red, but only trailing by 1.05.
The Quakers were only able to outscore the Big Red in the last event of the day, which was none other than the balance beam — the highlight of Penn’s performance.
Penn’s success in Ithaca follows its near victory last weekend at home. The Quakers are in action next on the road at Towson on Saturday in a quad meet with the Tigers, Pittsburgh and Ursinus.
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