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Ivy Classic: Full Report

by David F.P. (Scores from eyewitness account, verified against troester, and Yale Athletics post) [ Image Gallery ]

NEW HAVEN, CT- Cornell’s 190.800 won them the 2009 Ivy Classic, with Brown coming in second with a 188.400, Penn adding a 187.325, and Yale picking up a 185.200. This would be the first week in a few that Yale would be able to put up five counted scores per event, though they were still missing gymnasts from their standard lineup. Yale’s Alina Liao would win the heavily contested all around with a 38.725. Kerri Lavallee from Cornell won Vault with a 9.825, Brown’s Vida Rivera won the Bars with a 9.750, Melanie Standridge from Cornell and Liao won the Beam with their 9.775, and Helen Segal from Brown won floor with a 9.775.

For Yale, this marked the first meet in a bit where the team was able to count five scores per event, but they only had five gymnasts per event as well. Even so they put up a solid 185.200. Liao on her way to the all around title led her team on three out of four events, and Brigitte Kivisto’s return to the floor again brought her a team leading 9.725. Liao got herself onto the medal stand in all five events, and Kivisto placed third on the Floor. Allison Mak’s 9.525 on Vault, 9.550 on Bars, and 9.625 on Beam were second on every event for the Bulldogs, and good enough for trips to the medal stand on Vault and Bars, as well as a third place finish on Beam. Sherry Yang’s three scores contributed well to the team score. Sarah Hughes hit a very solid season high 9.375 on Beam, and a 9.4 on the floor. Claude de Jocas and Margaret Greenberg continued their Bars appearances, and Micaline Tomeo was back in the Vault lineup after missing the week before due to illness.

Many of Yale’s unique elements have been covered before, Mak utilizes an element I still have yet to find a name for on the Bars, where she pulls down from a straddled handstand position and flips to the low bar, Hughes currently is the lone gymnast in the lineup doing a release of the tkatchev, jaeger, geinger variety with her tkatchev and Liao scores highly on the Bars with fewer elements than I’m used to seeing. Mak’s Homma (flares) to open the Beam routine are perhaps the most crowd pleasing element of a Yale meet, and Liao has adds in elements like a one handed handspring into her layout stepout, and one of her turning dance moves whose name escapes me, she also twists big time on her dismount. In the Floor which has remained relatively stable though is missing a key component in Lauren Tatsuno who is currently injured, it’s a fun mix of music and dancing, including Sherry Yang’s FX to Shaft. The Yale Gymnasts smile quite a lot during their routines which is nice to see.

For Brown, the 188.400 and second place finish was likely very welcome as well as picking up two event titles, thanks to Vida Rivera’s 9.750 on Bars, and Helen Segal’s 9.775 on Floor, with her teammates Katie Goddard and Chelsey Binkley picking up the 2nd place finishes with 9.750. Vicki Zanelli’s 9.675 on Bars was good enough for fourth, and Lauren Tucker (9.575) and Zanelli (9.550) picked up 4th and 5th place on Beam. Zanelli also placed fourth in the competitive all around. Brown outscored all teams on Floor thanks to the pace set by Segal, Goddard, and Binkley, as well as with solid counted scores from Whitney Diederich, and Tucker. Melissa Bowe’s 9.5 on the Bars was a good score and just missed the medal platform. The Bears might have missed medals in the Vault but put together five scores that led to a concrete showing led by Lilly Siems and Carli Wiesenfeld.

Brown has been building higher scores in the second half of the season, and has reached a point where their lineups top to bottom can produce a lot of higher scores and gives them a lot of depth in a now ultra competitive Ivy League, and for that matter ECAC. On the Bars, Zanelli has about five grip changes during her routine. Jen Sobuta has a similar number. Siems does a Tkatchev and Rivera a straddled Jaeger. In the high impact Floor lineup, Whitney Diederich consistently puts the score on the board to open things up, Zanelli has added to her routine from earlier in the season though she still has two full twists in one pass. Tucker comes next with her very fitting floor music. Goddard than utilizes the slow but dramatic theme to the Tango from Mr. and Mrs. Smith and twists all over the place. Helen Segal and Chelsey Binkley close with a one two punch and Segal adds a pass with twists followed by a front layout and then for good measure another twisting pass ending with a front tuck.

For Penn, Laura DiPaolo’s 9.675 on the Vault was third in the meet and Jordan Brewer’s 9.6 good for fourth. On the Uneven Bars, Lizzie Lowe’s 9.7 picked up third and Becca Engberg’s 9.6 was fifth. Brewer placed third on Beam with a 9.625, and Engberg sixth in 9.425. Brewer also picked up a 9.650 on Floor good enough for sixth. Brewer was second in the All Around as the only other gymnast other than Liao to hit above 38. Engberg’s 37.525 brought her fifth place. DiPaolo added a 9.45 on Beam as part of the highlights, and Engberg a 9.5 on Floor.

The fifth and sixth gymnasts in the Vault lineup add twists to their vault which is fun to see. On Bars, only one Penn gymnast does a jaeger, another has five grip changes amidst their routine, a third uses a transition where they swing over the low bar to get to the high bar. Penn’s fourth gymnast in the Beam lineup does a layout stepout right into a twist off the beam. Their fifth gymnast does a handstand into a one handed back handspring, and back layout stepout (a combination I doubt I’ve ever seen). On the Floor, Penn integrates a lot of twists into their lineup, as well as three different routines set to the iconic modern classical stylings of Bond.

The eventual Ivy Champions in Cornell built off especially high Vault and Floor scores of 48.125, and 48.025 respectively to get where they were going. In the Vault, Kerri Lavallee’s 9.825 and Sara Tepper’s 9.775 scored 1st and 2nd in the meet, and they were joined on the medal stand by Maddie Pearsall and her 9.6. Kim O’Donnell and Irene Leung were just out of the medaling but still contributed to the Vault counted scores. On the Floor, Stacey Ohara’s 9.7 was good for 4th, Lavallee’s 9.675 is 5th, and Pearsall 9.650’s was 6th, with Emily Lenik’s 9.6 just out of the top 6 and Bethany Neczypor adding the last counted. On the Bars, which the Big Red’s lowest scoring team event of the even they picked up three 2nd place scores of 9.725 with Molly Parker, Pearsall, and Neczypor, and Jennifer Yee’s 9.675 was 4th in the meet. They had the highest scoring top 4 of their team in the meet. On the Beam, Melanie Standridge tied with Liao for the top score picking up a 9.775. Danielle Scott’s 9.650 was 2nd in the meet, and Sarah Zelek’s 9.575 was 4th.

Cornell’s Vaults consist of five twists out of six vaults, which is rare among the team’s I usually see in action. Though not surprisingly they outscored the three teams on that event. The Big Red also has four release moves (either jaeger, geinger, or tkatchev) out of six of their bars routine. One of their Beam routines features a combination I hadn’t seen before in that the gymnast does a roundoff, into a gainer twist off the beam dismount. Their anchor Floor routine not only features a big twisting flip at the end of pass one, but also three elements in pass 2, which I’m also not used to seeing.

Routines List
+ Cornell
+ Penn
+ Brown
+ Yale