Teagle Gymnasium saw quite the crowd Saturday afternoon, as 300 fans cheered matside for the Cornell gymnasts’ first home meet of the season. In a tri-match against Penn and SUNY Brockport, the squad placed second overall, posting a season-high team score of 189.000.
“Saturday was our first home meet,” said sophomore Mackenzie Sato. “It was really exciting and we had a really good turn out. It was nice that people showed up and it made the energy higher than normal.”
Sato gave a strong performance on floor, posting 9.750 and 9.800 on her first and second attempts, respectively, to finish with a personal best of 9.775.
“I knew it was one of my best floor routines and my landings felt really solid,” Sato said.
“[Sato] had a fabulous routine in only her second meet back this year from an ankle injury,” said head coach Paul Beckwith. “So that was really encouraging for her to have her personal best.”
According to Beckwith, injuries have been a major problem for the team, forcing the usual lineup of gymnasts to shift around.
“We’ve lost several key people to injuries, so our team depth is everything to us right now since we are using everyone we have.”
Junior Ashley Maher and sophomore Melanie Jorgensen showcased the team’s depth, tying for second on bars with a final score of 9.725. Sophomore Elise Kerner finished close behind with a 9.625 overall.
Junior McKenna Archer recorded Cornell’s best scores on both the vault and beam events, placing seventh overall on beam with a 9.450 and third overall on vault with a 9.750.
Cornell is set to host the Big Red Invitational at Teagle Gymnasium on Saturday, where the team will take on Ithaca College, Southern Connecticut State and West Chester. The Red will need to work harder to correct the errors that the team is still making if it wants to win its home tournament.
“We could go either way and it could be a real big thing if this team could pull it together,” Beckwith said.
Kerner was optimistic about the Red’s chances to win on Saturday, citing the work the team has been doing in the gym as well as support received from the crowd.
“In the past we’ve been hitting our routines but they haven’t exactly been spectacular and we haven’t been dominating,” she said. “We hope to have a lot of support at [the Ivy League championships] because the more fans that are in the crowd, the more pumped up we get and the better we do.”