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Though Penn gymnastics came up short of the Ivy title, senior captain Kyra Levi was among several Quakers to impress, giving optimism for the team moving forward.

Credit: Carson Kahoe

Coming off of an exciting season-best performance at the Ivy Classic this past weekend at Brown, Penn gymnastics is ready to take on the upcoming weekends of spring break with full force. 

This Friday at the University of Maryland, the Quakers (4-10, 3-5 ECAC) take on the host team (8-6, 2-3 Big Ten) and battle the familiar foes of Yale (10-7, 4-1 ECAC), and Temple (15-5, 3-0 ECAC). The subsequent Friday of March 9, the Quakers will be competing against Temple and Maryland again in the Owls' home arena

The Quakers put on a stellar performance at the Ivy Classic despite the tough competition, placing third out of four teams but scoring a season-high 193.875 points in the process. 

There was an overall great performance by Penn's gymnasts this past weekend, with career highs from freshman Darby Nelson on bars (9.725), and a tied career high on beam by senior Ally Podsednik (9.800). 

A standout performance by Kyra Levi on bars impressed judges as she received the highest score of the event for the Quakers with a 9.825. With Levi’s contribution, the Red and Blue earned their season high in that event with 48.750 points. 

According to Levi, the team is excited for spring break and, “looking forward to being able to focus more on gymnastics and to get a break from school.” 

Beyond preparing for their late-season stretch, the gymnasts will be dedicating their new free time to some of their own team bonding activities during the break. 

“We normally walk into the city…play board games, movie nights too…kind of relaxing activities,” Levi said. 

Enjoying time with the team is important for any sport and the gymnasts know how to incorporate that into their routine. 

On a more serious note, the Red and Blue keeps their training up as the season winds down. The team has set season-high overall scores in six of its seven meets this season, and will need to continue that pattern in order to contend for an ECAC title down the road.

“[Our] goal is to keep that upward movement,” said Levi.

With a total of twenty two girls on the team, leadership proves to be a crucial component in the individual performance sport. 

“I try to [lead] by example and by keeping the energy high,” Levi said. “I also try to see what everyone else is contributing to the team and encourage however they lead.”

Levi, like the other gymnasts, is hard at work but knows when to take a break and enjoy her teammates' company. The Red and Blue are excited to get another shot at previous competitors and hopefully come home with some wins. 

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