Despite facing a lot of adversity these last couple of weeks, Penn gymnastics has proven to be a powerful squad that is able to succeed against ranked opponents across the country.
This past weekend the Quakers competed in a quad-meet against No. 9 University of Kentucky, the University of Maryland and William and Mary in College Park, Maryland. The Quakers finished third, ended the meet with their second best score of the year at 193.425, and showed some of their best performances so far this season. They came away with a victory against ECAC rival William and Mary, but Kentucky took home first place.
Sophomore captain Caroline Moore proved to again be the driving force of the team, scoring a 9.800 on vault, good enough to tie for fourth-best in Penn gymnastics history.
“I felt like we made great improvements this weekend and went in with the right mindset to perform at our best. We did what we know how to do and what we’ve been training all preseason for, and I think we can build upon our performances from this weekend as well,” Moore said.
Similarly, junior captain Kyra Levi thought the team performed to their level of expectation against three tough opponents.
“I think I can speak for the team when saying we are proud of what we did this weekend. We put in a lot of hard work over the past few weeks, and it showed. We have more to give, as there always will be more to give, but we are very happy that our work is coming through” Levi added.
In a quad-meet like this, it is important to have a strong focus on the task at hand, as it is easy to get distracted by other teams’ performances. However, the Red and Blue (4-10, 2-2 Ivy) made this day about accomplishing their goals and performing for each other.
“We went into this meet, going against two top-ranked teams, with a strong mindset. We made the day about us, and that’s ultimately why we had a good showing” Levi continued.
According to Moore, the Quakers performed up to the level of Kentucky and Maryland, two top ranked teams, and did not let down despite what the end result may look like.
“We had been exposed to Maryland before in a weekend pass but I’d say we were definitely competing at the level they were and throwing around the same skills that they were. They were really good competition for us in a way that motivated us to perform at our highest level,” she said.
As they team heads into the final weeks of the season, the Ivy Classic and ECAC Championship are coming quickly. At this point in the season, it is crucial for the squad to start focusing in on what will make them a winning team and most successful in these highly competitive meets.
“Our focus for this week will be consistency and cleaning up little details. We’ve been honing in on the small things, and now is when we’ll really start to touch our routines up in little ways,” Levi said.
“We’re trying to continue what we trained so hard for and we want to let everyone see the hard work we’ve been putting in since preseason,” Moore added.
After a successful weekend in College Park, the team is on a high and is ready to conquer the most important part of the season that is fast approaching. Now, they must clearly define their goals and be ready to attack when the time is right.
“I’m proud to say that this team’s goals have not changed since preseason. We’ve known our potential for a while, and now we’re setting our sights on the Ivy Classic and ECAC Championship. As we approach those big weekends, we’re staying focused on what we’ve done in the gym every day since August, because at the end of the day, that’s what will get us to the top,” Levi continued.
With clear minds, full hearts, and the willingness and determination to preserve, the Red and Blue will finish with success in their 2016-2017 season.