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Gymnastics ECAC Credit: Patrick Hulce , Patrick Hulce, Patrick Hulce

The best thing about playing against yourself? You’re guaranteed to win.

That’s what the Penn gymnastics team found out Friday night in the Red vs. Blue Intrasquad Meet, where the Quakers showed off their depth in what amounted to a season preview for the Ivy League Champs.

“It’s intrasquad, so we want to see where we are, what we need to take care of,” coach John Ceralde said, “Right now the idea is to get our top six gymnasts on all the events.”

The return of several Quakers will strengthen what Ceralde believes is already a strong squad. Junior Keolamau Yee’s comeback after missing all of last season due to injury should especially give Penn a boost.

Yee was the team’s high scorer on beam, an event that Ceralde believes will be much improved this season.

“These girls have the opportunity to become another championship team,” Ceralde said. “[I’m] really looking forward to the season.”

Going into her senior year, captain Kirsten Strausbaugh is confident the team can break new ground for gymnastics at Penn.

“We can make NCAAs for the first time in history,” she said.

For NCAA history to be made, though, both Strausbaugh and fellow senior Dana Bonincontri will have to draw from their own long history with Penn gymnastics to take the reins of a squad with such great potential.

“We kind of just know what we have to do in competition,” Bonicontri said. “Now we just have to help them [our teammates] out too.”

After three years as a solid contributor for the Quakers, Strausbaugh is ready to step up as a leader as well.

“Now we’re not worried about routines as much, because we’re more confident in ours,” she said. “So you’re helping someone that has the potential to get that consistency and perform when they need to perform.”

And after the intrasquad meet, all systems are go.

“This was a good showing for us,” Strausbaugh said. “It’s just fine-tuning right now.”


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