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Season-High Score Lifts Men's Gymnastics past Dartmouth

By Rob Cooper
Team member

Last Saturday, the men's gymnastic team traveled to Dartmouth College where it posted a noteworthy win, scoring a season-high 172.6 points to Dartmouth's 133.75.

The first event was the floor exercise. Dave Golombek '98, started the Engineers off with a score of 5.6. Next up was Brian Young '96, scoring a 6.65. Chris Van '97, despite touching down on his last pass, scored a 6.75, while Art Shectman '95, nailed his most difficult pass for a 6.9.

Team veteran and co-captain Chris Ellefson '95, achieved a 7.4, despite having a bit of trouble with his routine. Finally, Rob Cooper '97, finished a nice routine with few errors, giving him a 8.65.

Pommel horse was next; an event that challenges the small, 4-man horse team to do their best because four scores (from a 6-man maximum line-up) on each event are used in determining the overall team score.

Van, first up on the horse, scored a 4.35, while Ellefson followed by hitting his routine for a 6.4. Andy Lobban '97 and Cooper were the next up; unfortunately both had a fall in their routine, costing them half a point in deductions. However, both finished strongly to give the Engineers a 5.6 and 6.7, respectively.

Brian Clarkson '97 had a bit of trouble with the next event, the rings, as did Geoffrey Phillippe '95; yet both came out with fair scores of 4.65 and 5.25 respectively. Cooper hit his best routine this season, giving him an 8.15, and Lobban, while lacking a dismount due to a knee injury sustained last season at Nationals, still achieved a very solid score of 7.7.

Co-captain Scott Lazerwith '95 MIT's strongest ring-man, had some difficulties with a new routine, yet he managed to score a 7.2. To finish the event, Ellefson held two strong iron crosses and dismounted to an impressive 8.5.

On the vault, Phillippe fell on his handspring, yet still landed a 6.8, followed by Shectman and Golombek who vaulted their way to a 7.4 and 7.8.

Young, who does a more difficult vault, did not complete his twist and still received a 7.25. Ellefson flew high and far, contributing to an excellent vault and deserving score of 8.35. Last up with a handspring-front was Cooper, who despite taking a couple of steps on his landing, received a meet high 8.55.

Golombek and Van were the first two up on the parallel bars, swinging their way to a 3.5 and 4.65, succeeded by Cooper with a 7.0. The judges gypped Lazerwith - whose routine, above all other things, included a unique one arm handstand - with a 6.25. Lobban, unable to dismount due to his knee, had a few problems with form and still achieved a 7.35, while Ellefson swung effortlessly to an 8.05.

The horizontal bar was the final event of the day. All of the Engineers hit their routines - making all of their tricks, giving the team a nice score.

Van received a 4.6; Young, a 4.75; Shectman, a 6.0; Ellefson, a 7.05; Cooper, a 7.3; and Lobban, a 7.15.

Ellefson, overall, had a very impressive day, scoring an all-time personal best of 45.75. Likewise, Cooper made it through with a season-high score of 46.35.

Saturday was a good showing for the Engineers; a stepping-stone in their quest for a trip to the national competition in April.