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Gymnastics Team Begins New Season

By YinFeng Shao

TEAM MEMBER

The MIT men’s gymnastics team started its 2005 campaign last Friday at the West Point Open, held at the U.S. Military Academy. The Engineers, with one of the strongest teams in recent memory, recorded a team score of 169.30, beating the goal of 165.00 set by head coach Noah Riskin.

Bradley J. Sutton ’07 led the team with an individual score of 46.55, followed by Zachary M. Eisenstat ’06 with 43.05 and Joshua S. Coblenz ’08 with 39.50. Matthew K. Heine ’08 performed solid routines on the vault and rings, earning scores of 8.80 and 7.60 respectively.

Although MIT failed to beat any other team in gymnastics, the Engineers won the pre-competition with a spirited rendition of the beaver call, beating out 5th-ranked Penn State’s “We are Penn State!” and 6th-ranked Iowa’s “Io-WA!”

After three events, the Engineers were seven points below pace to their 165-point goal. Riskin then gave a speech in which he claimed that “the fisherman baits his hook with confidence, not hope.”

The team, confused by Riskin’s profoundness, assumed the speech was inspirational. The galvanized Engineers responded by finishing strong, posting marks of 29.75 on the still rings and 33.40 on the vault.

The Engineers’ performance on Friday bodes well for their meet against Springfield College on Sunday, Feb. 6 in Springfield, MA. Although the team can only hope to be competitive against the stronger, more numerous gymnasts of Springfield, the Engineers will certainly follow their mantra of past years and try to “suck less.”