MIT Men’s Gymnastics Asymptotic Climb towards the ChampionshipBy Zachery Eisenstat
Winning is not everything. This motto is often preached to those seeking a safety net to lessen the pain of a fall from first. MIT’s men’s gymnastics team bares the burden of no such worry; they have no need for this protection.
As the band of acrobatically inclined brothers proved two Fridays ago at MIT in their season opening meet against Southern Connecticut State University, winning, indeed, is not everything. SCSU took the meet scoring 184.2 to MIT’s 141.7. And while the preseason shows incredible improvement, victory does not sit on the team’s immediate horizon, though it is becoming increasingly more imaginable. These gymnasts show a love and bring an energy that is nothing short of refreshing and entertaining to an already intriguing and innovative sport.
Remove the pressure of winning and all that is left is room to succeed. The team’s two gymnasts who arrived with previous experience showed an impressive performance, highlighted by Bradley J. Sutton ’07 in his first meet as a Beaver with an exquisite routine on the pommel horse, receiving the highest score of the meet. Another incredible moment for the Engineers was again a first time exhibition, this time by Luis R. Perez ’06, showing nothing short of Herculean strength on the rings holding his back lever (body perpendicular under the rings) with what seemed to be ease.
This season opener was highlighted with the return of an MIT gymnastics alum. Former captain and four time MVP winner Damian Engen ’03 proved that one can never rid themselves of gymnastics, though gymnastics can rid itself of them. In what could be titled an amusing show, this once MIT great competed with the team throwing an impressive tusk layout on vault (a round-off back tuck while keeping the body straight) coupled with a few less impressive skills on other events.
A successful start to their season, MIT men’s gymnastics proves that winning is not everything, but that succeeding at learning and executing incredible skills just might be. While they are not the best team, the level at which they compete is far ahead of their years of experience, many having only been training for two years in a sport that often takes over ten to become competent. It seems unquestionable that this team is on a track of progress with no foreseeable end.