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Gymnasts Compete in ECAC

By Catherine Rocchio
Team Coach

Team captain Julie Lyren '93 took third place overall at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Gymnastics Championships held at SUNY Brockport last weekend. Lyren's 35.25 all-around score was only five hundredths of a point behind Ithaca College's Lindaay-Leigh Bartyzel`s second place total of 35.30. Kim Holmes, a junior at SUNY Cortland, took first place honors overall with a score of 35.9. Lyren's third place finish marks the first time in MIT gymnastics history that an individual has earned an all-around title at this competition.

Karen Oda '93 had her second highest all-around score of 30.2 points while Janet Sollod '96 earned her best collegiate total of 33.45. Both Lyren and Sollod have qualified for the Division III National Championships at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls on March 3-6.

The women's team had its best vaulting totals by over two points at this meet. Kim Cornwell '94, Erica Carmel '96, and Gwen Gray '93 gave peak performances and received their top scores this season, 7.0, 7.6 and 7.4 respectively. Oda stuck a gorgeous handspring vault for a 7.85 while Sollod wrapped up a full twister for a solid score of 8.45. Lyren, scoring an 8.9, took fourth place overall on the event with a one-and-a-half twisting vault.

The Engineers did consistently well on the uneven bars, as Carmel completed a free-straddle back to immediate cut-catch and Oda landed a full-twisting dismount for a score of 7.4. Sollod had her season's best bar routine; she landed a somersaulting dismount to her teammates excited cheers for her best-ever collegiate score -- 8.25. Lyren, despite a slip on the dismount, took fourth place overall in the event with a score of 8.65.

Balance beam was anchored by routines from Jen Moore '94 and Carmel, who both performed difficult leaps and jumps but had a few bobbles that caused them to fall and lose points. Oda received a 7.25 for a back-handspring and a front somersault dismount, while Beth Chen '94 again proved herself the darling of the beam team when she stuck a gorgeous routine for a score of 8.0. Sollod landed two back handsprings, two switch-leg leaps, and a back-extension to handstand. Despite a fall on the last difficult jump of her routine, she still garnered an 8.05 for her efforts. Lyren wrapped up an entire collegiate season of "no falls ever" in a routine with an incredibly solid performance and score of 8.85, thus clinching third overall on the event.

The floor exercise debuted a back-tuck by Gray and displayed energetic dance style by Cornwell. Stephanie DeWeese '95 landed her back-tuck in the pike position in the first tumbling run for a score of 7.1. Oda displayed both grace and strength with her routine and earned a 7.7 while Sollod's full-twisting front-tuck and "over-split" flexibility earned an 8.7. Lyren again showed championship form as she received 8.85 points for her floor exercise.