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gymnastics-sydney-kraez-bars

Sophomore Sydney Kraez finished fourth in overall performance at the Lindsey Ferris Invitational in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. 

Credit: Zach Sheldon

Sunday was a disappointing day for Penn gymnastics. 

This Sunday, the Quakers traveled to Washington to compete against Cornell, Kent State, and George Washington in the Lindsey Ferris Invitational. This was their second meet of the 2020 season and first on the road. Penn earned the third spot in the competition with a score of 192.850 behind Kent State and George Washington. 

The meet was highlighted by sophomore Sydney Kraez coming in at sixth in the uneven bars with a 9.775. Meanwhile, on the floor, freshman Rebekah Lashley's 9.750 also earned her sixth place. Her score was only 0.100 points behind Kent State’s Rachel Decavitch for the top spot. 

Kraez came in at fourth place in all-around results with 38.825. Although they fell behind in the beginning of the meet, due to their hard work on the mats the Red and Blue were able to edge out Cornell for the bottom spot.

The Quakers shined on the balance beam with a 48.700, their highest score across events. Lashley and juniors Darcy Matsuda and Darby Nelson all came in eighth place with 9.750 on the beam. 

While gymnastics relies on independent performances, the team's chemistry is an important factor for overall team success. According to Kraez, the team was able to make a comeback because of their unity as a team.

"We had a shaky first two events. For us, usually bar and vault can be pretty strong for us, but we were able to come together and turn it around on beam and bar, which is really important for a meet like this," Kraez said. 

Despite dropping their first two meets, there is still time for the Quakers to make adjustments and get into the win column. The team will look to use their first two meets to further their success as a team. The Quakers particularly struggled on the vault, tallying only a 47.500, their lowest on the day. Kraez led the Quakers on the vault with a 9.675, only good enough for 12th place. 

"We can look forward and change what we did today and find something that we can improve on," Lashley said. "There’s always something we can be improving on to make the next meet stronger and the next score higher."

One thing that Lashley and Kraez agree on is the fact that maintaining a sense of team unity is important to their success before and during a meet. 

"You’re really putting on the routine for the team, so you know the team is supporting you when you’re on your event doing your individual routine," Kraez said. "We practice team events during practice. We really try to make it as communal as possible."

The Quakers will look to stay focused on making improvements in practice as their season heats up.

"We’re there for Penn and not for the other teams, so everything we do is for our team. We just focus on ourselves," Lashley said. 

Next up the Quakers return to the Palestra to face Rutgers next Sunday. They are looking forward to putting up a stronger performance and doing it as a team.

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