This past weekend, Penn gymnastics travelled to Rutgers to strut its routines in a quad meet against Maryland, Rutgers, and fellow Ivy League foe Yale. Despite notching a total of seven personal career-high marks throughout the evening’s events, the weekend’s performances were not as fruitful as the Red and Blue would have hoped, landing them a fourth-place finish for the second straight week.
The Quakers (3-8, 2-2 Ivy) were able to rely on their season-wide steadfast floor routine to bring them to a solid start on Saturday night.
Junior captain Kyra Levi — who had been gearing up to compete in the event for the first time in two weeks — was proud of the way her teammates executed on the floor, where they put up a solid score of 48.650.
“We had a great floor set, and that was a major building point for us as a team,” Levi said. “We’re right there on every other event, and we will do everything we have to this week to make it come together the way we know it can.”
The second event of the evening also had some impressive performances by the Quakers. Freshman Tara Mills, sophomore Nicole Swirbalus, and freshman Emma Cullen took a cue from their teammates’ success on the floor and all saw career-high scores on their routines. Sophomore captain Caroline Moore led the squad with an impressive score of 9.750.
Levi wasn’t at all surprised with her teammates’ ability to pull through during crucial routines, and seemed eager for her team to build upon this momentum and practice its way to perfection.
“We’d been training very well on floor, and we’re glad that came across. At this point in the season, the key is to make each day in the gym count as it would on meet day,” she said.
The third rotation of the night — the uneven bars — brought about several more career-high marks for the Quakers. Freshman Kellie Flavin sparked success in the event when she received a career-high 9.625. Tara Mills followed suit with her second career high of the evening, a score of 9.450.
Moore, while celebratory of her teammates’ achievements, always understands how important it is not to rest on their laurels and to focus on further progress.
“It’s always exciting to see a teammate reach a career-high because you know how much work they’ve put in to earn it,” she said. “With that being said, we can’t settle for those scores, because we can always be better. As for the rest of the season, I can only see us going up.”
Despite these impressive showings, the Red and Blue failed to keep up with the competition and to meet their own demanding standards. With ambitious attitudes and a staunch refusal to settle, this hardworking group looks forward to hitting the gym with bigger and better goals in mind.
“This past weekend was definitely a learning experience for us. After the competition, it’s obvious that everyone is motivated to get back in the gym and focus on individual problem areas,” Moore said. “Overall, it wasn’t our best showing, but we are prepared to get back to work in order to hit our peak at championships in a few weeks.”
As the Red and Blue refocus and resettle for yet another quad meet at Maryland next weekend, we can look forward to watching them blossom into the team that their consistent growth and improvement project them to be.
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