In its first meet of the season, Penn gymnastics is set to take on some tough competition. For them, though, that challenge is just part of the fun.
To open the season, the gymnastics team is traveling to Washington, D.C. on Saturday, where the Quakers will face Cornell and George Washington in the Lindsey Ferris Invitational. Cornell is an Ivy rival and GW is a top-25 team according to the RoadToNationals rankings, but for team captain Kyra Levi, it doesn’t matter who the Quakers are up against.
“We actually try to keep a good focus of like every meet is the same no matter who you’re competing against or where you are,” Levi said. “Doesn’t matter who they are, were just gonna give it our best.”
And Levi doesn’t put too much stock in the rankings, either.
“Really, if we have an on day, we could be at that level of competition, so it kind of motivates us rather than intimidates us,” the team captain said.
Most of all, Levi and the rest of the team are excited for the season to begin.
“I think everyone's really excited and looking forward to changing pace,” she said. “It will do a really good job of getting everyone excited and in the meet mindset because a lot of competing is about having fun and showing it off.”
But it’s not all fun and games. The Quakers have been hard at work, returning to campus on Jan. 2 to begin practicing, working up to this first competition. The team plans to use this meet as a way to hone its skills and learn what needs work.
“This first meet will really help us get an idea of where our gaps are and where we can continue to improve,” Levi said. “We already have an idea, but it will help solidify things that we have to keep working on.”
Along with a strong work ethic, the team has a laser focus on its goals for the season and is ready to start showing what it has spent months of offseason preparing. The meet could also provide a taste of revenge after Cornell topped Penn in thrilling fashion last season at the Ivy Classic.
“Everyone’s really focused in and kind of realized what we’re capable of this season,” Levi said. “So everyone’s really driven and motivated.”
With all their fire and energy, the Quakers are ready to blast into the season and no matter what the other teams bring on Saturday, Penn certainly has the drive and the preparation to top it.