By David F.P.
(scores from eyewitness accounts verified against official sources.) [ Image Gallery ]
NEW HAVEN, CT- The Towson University Tigers won their latest ECAC Division 1 Championship Saturday afternoon posting a 193.325, which edged Cornell’s 193.050 in a meet which had its share of controversy, and ended up with score adjustments after the results were presented to the crowd and the gymnasts who in Payne Whitney Gymnasium. In the end though it was Towson and Cornell in the top two positions followed by Temple’s 191.475, William and Mary’s 190.125, Pennsylvania’s 190.075, Brown’s 188.175, and Yale’s 184.450. Cornell’s Kerri Lavallee won the Vault with a 9.850, Jackie Schweitzer of Towson won the Uneven Bars with her 9.775, Katie Canning of Temple and Allison Mak of Yale both posted 9.850’s to win Balance Beam, Alise McDonald’s 9.850 on Floor won her that apparatus, and Alina Liao picked up a 38.600 to win the All Around.
I tend to avoid controversy in these reports but was not possible to do this time. It was discussed afterward that some of the placements, including the All Around winner that were announced were incorrect and needed to be correct later on. Additionally, fans seemed surprised at the amount of reviews going on at the Uneven Bars, as well as the conference which occurred delaying William and Mary’s routines. Beyond that additional criticism, though I’ve yet to verify it watching the video, but there were questions over if some gymnasts stepped out of bounds on floor and were deducted. That is a question for the more judging experts. I only mention this as it has caused some hesitation in reporting results given the circumstances. I wish I could go into more detail, but I felt it was necessary to note the occurrences.
Given the sheer number of teams I’ll try to got through the highlights as quickly as possible.
Towson’s Vault lineup included 3 9.775’s from Kacy Catanzaro, Avis Hixon, and Alise McDonald as well as Megan Wooden’s 9.750. Towson’s Bars rotation was the lowest of the meet, as their other’s had produced scores in the 48.4 to 48.8 range, but Schweitzer still picked up the title. On the Beam, Schweitzer’s 9 .8 led the team, followed by Lindsay Poplaski and Catanzaro’s 9.750. On the Floor, which would prove to be the Tiger’s best event of the day, McDonald’s title winning 9.850 was tops, followed by Alyssa Dittman’s 9.775, and Kady Sullivan and Wooden’s 9 .750. McDonald and Wooden both put up 38+’s on the All Around and McDonald was 2nd in the AA.
Cornell’s Vault was led by eventual champion Lavallee, followed by Sari Tepper’s 9.725. On the Bars, Maddie Pearsall’s 9.650 was the top team score. Over on the Beam, Stacey Ohara and Melanie Standridge both notched 9.8s, and Danielle Scott picked up a 9.750. On the Floor, Cornell finished with their best team score of the day. Emily Santor and Lavallee both scored 9.8s, Emily Lenik added a 9.750, and Ohara and Tepper had 9.7s. Pearsall was tied for third in the All Around.
Temple was led by Kaity Watson’s 9.75 on Vault, and Natasha Crawford’s 9.550 on Bars. The Owls had the treacherous Beam as their best event of the day posting a 48.725 comprised of Canning’s tied for 1st finish, as well as Corrine Williams scoring a 9.8, Winter Sneed a 9.775 and Crawford a 9.7. On the Floor, Sneed had a 9.825, and Watson a 9.7. Watson’s 38.525 in the All Around was good for third place, and Canning and Crawford also posted above 38.
The Tribe of William and Mary’s Kristin Milardo set the pace for her team on Vault with her 9.6. On the Bars, Jennifer Stack’s 9.75 was the top score of their rotation. Over on Beam, W&M also made that event their best of the day, notching a 48.550 thanks in part to Melissa Cream’s 9.775, Karla Bercaw’s 9.750 and Dina McNaughton and Milardo’s 9.70. On Floor, Milardo’s 9.7 was the best score of the day for the team. She also tied for third in the All Around as well scoring a 38.525.
The Quakers of Penn had their Vault rotation topped by Laura DiPaolo’s 9.650. Over on Bars, Lizzie Lowe and Marissa Rosen both had 9.6s as well. Penn also had their best event on Beam that day, with Jordan Brewer’s 9.725 topping the scoring and the rest of the team not far behind. On the Floor, Brewer’s 9.750 was the best score among her team. Brewer also topped 38 in the All Around.
The Bears of Brown rolled down I-95 and had an unusually lower scoring day on several events. Lilly Siems and Carli Wiesenfeld had 9.425s on the Vault, On Bars, Jen Sobuta picked up a team leading 9.575, on the Beam Lauren Tucker had a 9.650 and Siems a 9.625, and on Floor, Chelsey Binkley anchored the rotation with a 9.650 and Katie Goddard and Helen Segal both had 9.625s.
For the host Yale, Brigitte Kivisto had a 9.575 to set the team pace on Vault followed closely by Alina Liao and Allison Mak. On the Bars, Liao hit a 9.625 on very tough day for the Bulldog rotation. Yale regained their ability to own beam though when Mak posted her co-meet leading score of 9.850, Liao had a 9.8, and Kivisto a 9.775, along with Sherry Yang and Sarah Hughes contributing to the 48.2 where Yale only had five gymnasts competing. Over on Floor Liao and Mak both posted 9.650s. Liao would eventually become All Around winner with her 38.6 score.
This may not be the last meet of the season for any of these teams, as I believe most are eligible for USAG Championships in a few weeks. With the scoring issues aside, it was an exciting meet and the cheering sections were enthusiastic regardless of which team they supported which is always good to see.