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Women Gymnasts Struggle with Beam

By Eduardo Ovalle
Team Coach

The women gymnasts travelled to Brown University last week for their fourth competition in 11 days. The team was doing remarkably well considering their grueling schedule, until they got to the balance beam.

Beam was the last event of the evening for the Engineers, and all of a sudden, they all showed the toll of the last two and a half weeks of non-stop workouts and meets. Only two gymnasts managed to stay on the 4-inch wide apparatus while most everyone else fell off, twice.

Co-captains Alli Christenson '98 and Sonja Ellefson '01 were the only two that managed to tame the beam on this night. Both of them posted solid all-around scores. Christenson scored a 34.925 aided by a very steady 8.95 on beam, and Ellefson racked up yet another personal best in the all-around (36.325) and on vault (9.15).

Ellefson's all-around score was good enough for second place at yet another meet against two Division I opponents.

Stephanie Cheng '00 rejoined the team and made an immediate impact with a very clean routine on floor (8.75). There were some notable absences from the line-up. Nann Kronschnabel '00 was out due to sickness and Liz Ellingson '01 was out with a slight knee sprain, so MIT competed with only five gymnasts on both vault and floor.

The meet was ultimately won by Brown (177.375) who has shown great improvement over the last two years. Northeastern University was also at the meet and came in second (172.40) followed by MIT's 163.325. The team has had a much deserved weekend off, and their next competition is on Friday when they travel to Division II power Texas Women's University. The time off will help cure some of the physical ailments of a team that is a bit run-down, and maybe provide a secret to staying on beam.