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Lady Gymnasts Break Record

By Eduardo Ovalle

TEAM COACH

MIT’s Women’s Gymnastics team broke the five-year-old school record Sunday with a 177.650, beating the old record by a mere 0.025 points.

The women gymnasts had been inching closer and closer to the school record all season with scores of 177.125 and 177.2 before dipping to 175.175 prior to Sunday’s meet. In breaking the record, the team also collected its fourth win of the season, the most ever by MIT’s women’s gymnastics squad.

The team is currently 4-3 against Division III opponents and 4-12 overall. At Sunday’s tri-meet at Rhode Island College (RIC), MIT beat the host team 177.650-176.725, but lost to Division II University of Bridgeport (183.275) for the second time this season. The school record for team bars was also broken by 0.025 and now stands at 43.475.

Rothenberg wins all-around

First year MIT gymnast Ashley R. Rothenberg won the meet outright by posting a 37.35 all-around score including personal bests on vault (9.4), bars (9.325), and beam (9.425). Fellow classmate Merritt S. Tam ’05 tied her season best all-around of 37.05, marking the first time in school history that two MIT gymnasts have broken 37.0 in the same meet.

While MIT was on bars, RIC was vaulting to a 44.50 and an early lead. Bridgeport moved to vault and RIC to bars in the second rotation where they posted a 43.60. In the meantime, Bridgeport got a 9.5 from both Korrie Powelski and Stephanie Pink to amass a 46.375 on vault. As MIT vaulted to a 43.80 score, Bridgeport swung a nice 46.025 bar set.

MIT wins floor event

The engineers got to sit on a bye for the fourth rotation as Bridgeport struggled and had to count several falls on floor, totaling 45.50. The host school had their own problems on beam (42.925), although Nikki Longo was able to stick her routine for a 9.45. MIT took to the floor and actually ended up winning the event by scoring a 45.825 with solid performances from Lindsey L. Wolf ’03 (8.85), Cecile E. LeCocq ’02 (9.1), Rothenberg (9.2), Whitney E. Watson ’05 (9.35) and Tam (9.325).

Bridgeport managed a 45.375 on beam as they had to count a couple more falls. In the last rotation, MIT moved to the beam as RIC finished on floor. RIC’s Caren Normandin had a nice 9.4 routine in helping her team to a 45.70. Wolf started off the beam set with an 8.75 which included a fall. Rothenberg picked her up by nailing her front tuck mount and then the rest of the set for a 9.425, but MIT’s beam performances went downhill from there. Carrie Garceau ’03 struggled mightily through her routine to a 7.4 and just as it seemed that senior co-captain Amy M. Shui ’02 was going to pick up her teammate, she missed the last jump in her routine and fell off for an 8.7.

Watson rushed her series, fell off and then hooked her foot on the base of the beam to prevent from falling again and received an 8.30. Tam finished up with a lot of minor wobbles but managed to stay on the beam for a 9.325.

Chances of nationals getting slim

Even though the school record fell and the team average improved, the team’s slim chances of earning a berth to the national championships took a big hit as Springfield College posted a 186.05 at home to put themselves in the driver’s seat. The two teams will meet face to face in the final week of the regular season at Springfield.