The streak has been broken.
Saturday afternoon at Penn State, Penn gymnastics could not extend its season-long stretch of improvement. In each of the season's first five meets, the Quakers consecutively set season-high team scores. Its record from last meet was 193.725, but on Saturday, the team could not top that, falling down to a still respectable 192.200.
Not only did Penn's streak end this Saturday, but the Red and Blue (3-9, 2-2 Ivy) were also beaten by defending Ivy League champion Cornell (9-5, 2-1 Ivy), who barely outscored the Quakers with a score of 192.400. This meeting was the third time the two squads have met this season, with both sides splitting the previous results in tight meets.
Powerhouse Penn State decisively beat both Ivy League teams with an overall team score of 195.325. Coming into this dual meet, Penn State (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten) was ranked No. 28 in the country. The Nittany Lions' performance was nothing short of impressive, as they placed first in all four individual events.
As for the all-around results, Penn State swept the competition with Lauren Bridgens, Sabrina Garcia, and Briannah Tsang placing first, second, and third, respectively.
Despite the discouraging story that the overall team scores tell, the Quakers performed impressively as individuals.
Senior Kyra Levi finished in a three-way tie for first place on the uneven parallel bars with an impressive score of 9.900. This score, which ranked No. 3 in school history, was enough for Levi to match her career-high and break her season-high score in this event.
On vault, senior Ally Podsednik finished with both a season and career high score of 9.775, taking second in the event behind Penn State’s Tsang.
Freshman Darby Nelson had a breakout meet for the Quakers as well. She tied for second on floor, matching her career high score of 9.825. Additionally, she scored a personal best on bars with a score of 9.625.
Levi looked at this meet as a learning moment for the team.
“We learned a lot about how to pick ourselves up when we make small mistakes, and that showed in each event," she said. "We didn’t let one event affect another, and we’ll carry that with us.”
The meet was the last competitive preparation for the Red and Blue leading up to next Sunday’s Ivy Classic meet against Brown, Cornell, and Yale. The Quakers are eager to get back on the mat and go head-to-head against their Ancient Eight foes as they seek their first Ivy championship since 2015.
“We are feeling really strong for next weekend’s meet," Levi said. "Our practices have been filled with hard work and improvements, and our meets keep showing that we’re growing as a team. I can’t wait to see what we put up next weekend as a whole.”
Indeed, the Quakers have the opportunity, as well as potential, to begin a new streak after next Sunday.
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