Lauren Hittner broke the Penn all-around record for the third straight week. The Penn gymnastics team faced more than its fair share of adversity at Towson this past Sunday, but the Quakers fought hard enough to feel confident in their chances for an Ivy Classic four-peat. Although the Quakers placed just fifth out of six teams at the meet with George Washington taking first place, the majority of Penn's routines were solid enough to earn a team point total of 188.900 -- consistent with the Red and Blue's previous performances this season. Continuing her three-week long streak, Penn sophomore Lauren Hittner, who is also a DP staff photographer, broke her own record in the individual all-around point total, scoring a 38.800. This score surpassed her previous mark of 38.725, set against Temple little over a week ago. "I'm enjoying it because it means that I'm contributing to the team effort," Hittner said. Penn's Jenn Capasso also turned in a solid performance. The junior established a new personal best with a 38.250 in the individual all-around score. "Our two all-arounders, Lauren and Jenn, really performed well for us this weekend," Penn captain Lizzie Jacobson said. Penn freshman Veena Abraham showed promise for the future. Her floor exercise routine earned a 9.575, her personal best in the event. "[Although the meet] definitely wasn't our best performance, some people stepped up, especially the freshmen. Veena turned in her best performance of the season," Penn sophomore Juliana Mariani said. With Ivy rival Yale edging out the Quakers for fourth place by less than a point and with ECAC foe James Madison earning less than one point more than that, the Red and Blue are not concerned about the future implications the meet may have. "The scores were very close, so placing fifth was not as far from the top as it sounds," Penn coach Tom Kovic said. Perhaps most impressive about the Quakers' performance at the meet, however, was the resiliency of the team after making some uncharacteristic early mistakes on the uneven bars. "We took it one event at a time. We had some falls here and there, but we didn't give up. It was a good fight to the end," Jacobson said. That is not to say, however, that the Quakers are satisfied with their performance. "It was a good wake-up call. [The meet] was a way to get out all of our mistakes, so we can get ready for the championship meets," Mariani said. The Quakers may have been dealt a severe blow to their lineup, as junior Kelly Haberer suffered a foot injury after her second vault on Sunday. "It's very unfortunate that she hurt herself now because this has been the best season of her entire career," Kovic said. Haberer underwent X-rays yesterday afternoon. Her status for Saturday's Ivy Classic is still up in the air. Still, Kovic believes that his Quakers' depth will ensure a solid performance in the Ivy Classic at Cornell. "The depth we have is going to cover our loss. We are two or three deep, so although we may not present the strongest team, we will still be strong," Kovic said. The Quakers will now turn their attention to trying to win a fourth straight Ivy Classic. Facing Yale at Towson only fueled their competitive fire. "When we put our stuff together, we are a better team [than Yale], which only makes us want to beat them more," Jacobson said. "They just seem to really compete well against us." The Quakers know they must be consistently excellent in order to achieve a four-peat at the Ivy Classic. "We know we're a 190 team now, so [the Towson meet] was reassuring going into Ivies this weekend," Mariani said. Using their season-long consistency to build team momentum and confidence, there is no doubt of the Quakers' focus this week. Come Saturday, they will be competing to continue their tradition of winning and to prove once again that they are still in charge in the Ivy League.Comments powered by Disqus
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