As the snow melted during a 53 degree day in usually frigid Ithaca, Penn was not as hot as the thermometer read.
This weekend Penn gymnastics competed in the Ivy Classic, finishing a disappointing last out of four teams as the squad sought to defend its 2015 title.
Though not every school in the Ancient Eight has a gymnastics team, the four that do, Brown, Cornell, Penn and Yale, face off in this annual tournament.
Both Cornell and Brown tied for the top, both scoring 193.325 and ahead of the 191.050 posted by the Red and Blue.
However, the Quakers did have some good news on the day. Senior Elyse Shenberger tied for Ivy champion on the uneven bars, scoring 9.850 and sharing the title with Caitlin Green of Cornell.
The Red and Blue began the competition on the beam, and sophomore Ally Podsednik led the way for Penn. The top five scores on the event came out to a total of 47.725, which put the Quakers in third place after the first event.
Penn then moved to the floor exercise and scored a collective 48.025, the team’s highest scoring event of the day. With a running score of 95.750, the Quakers held their third-place spot as the competition crossed the midway point.
Continuing in Olympic order, the Quakers moved to the vault. On what is usually a strong apparatus for the Red and Blue, Penn only scored 47.375, its lowest event score of the day, which resulted in the Red and Blue falling from third into fourth, from which they would not recover.
As has been the case at other points in the season, the uneven bars was not a game changer for the Red and Blue. While it was a standout performance for Shenberger, the team scored 47.925, which was not quite enough to surpass the other squads and resulted in a fourth place finish overall.
This is a disappointing follow-up to last year’s Quakers’ Ivy Classic victory at the Palestra. Scoring 193.725 just a year ago and edging out Brown by 0.300 of a point, a repeat of last year’s score would have been enough to secure a two-peat Red and Blue victory. But it was not meant to be.
While a 191.050 is most definitely not a bad score, it was just not enough to overtake Penn’s Ivy competitors this weekend.
However, Penn’s season is far from over, and now the Quakers turn their attention to next Saturday and to a much closer foe in North Philadelphia. Temple will host a tri-meet with the Red and Blue and Bridgeport at 1 p.m.
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