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Lyren Captures 1st All-Around Title

By Catherine Rocchio
Women's gymnastics coach

Last weekend Captain Julie Lyren `93 won her first gymnastics all-around title of 1993. With a score of 35.2 at her last home meet appearance against Division III rival Rhode Island College, Lyren was clearly the champion as RIC's Stephanie Cleary finished in second place with a score of 32.2.

Overall, the MIT women's team, struggling with the loss of Karen Oda `93 to medical school interviews, lost the meet 147.15 to 160.05.

Kim Cornwell `94, Gwen Gray `93, and Melissa Kaye `95 cleanly performed handspring vaults for scores of 6.6, 7.1, and 7.75 respectively. Janet Sollod `96 and Lyren took first and third places overall on the event with scores of 8.25 and 8.6.

Uneven bars showed off the beautiful "free flight" straddle back of Jean Wong '93 and Erica Carmel `96. Kaye stuck a solid flyaway dismount.

Sollod had one of her best routines this year, "just missing" a one-and-a-half somersaulting dismount for a score of 7.75, for third place in the event. Lyren chalked up another first place with her exciting routine that ended with a half-twisting, back-somersaulting dismount for a score of 8.8.

Balance beam, usually the team's strongest event, turned out to be a shaky that afternoon. Beth Chen '94 turned in an outstanding performance. She had the best routine of her life, which earned her an 8.2 and third place overall on the event. Lyren earned an 8.8 and another first place for her aggressive leaps and acrobatics.

The meet ended on the floor exercise where Carmel debuted her floor exercise, which included a front somersault in the first tumbling run.

Cornwell's energetic routine led into Stephanie DeWeese's `95 clean performance for a score of 7.15. Kaye also competed on the floor exercise for the first time this year and performed the most difficult tumbling of the competition -- a whip back to an immediate full-twisting back somersault -- for a score of 8.35. Sollod had her best exercise of the season and earned an 8.8 and another third place overall. Lyren anchored her winning performances with her fourth first place score of 9.0 for her dramatic dance and powerful tumbling.

MIT meets Brown University and RIC again on Jan. 27 at Brown.