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Team "fun" fuels gymnastic victory

by Justin Maybach
Tue, Feb 6th 2018 09:00 pm
Senior Brittany Vasile (above) catches air while flipping through her routine.  The gymnastics team has been one of the best sides in its division so far, sitting on a record of 5—1 while being undefeated at home. The Golden Eagles have come out on top of their last two meets and will be looking to carry the winning momentum into next weekend's invitational meet against Cornell University.
Senior Brittany Vasile (above) catches air while flipping through her routine. The gymnastics team has been one of the best sides in its division so far, sitting on a record of 5—1 while being undefeated at home. The Golden Eagles have come out on top of their last two meets and will be looking to carry the winning momentum into next weekend's invitational meet against Cornell University.

As each week passes, The College at Brockport’s women’s gymnastics team continues to show prominence and defeat its opponents; however, this past week’s meet provided a minor challenge.

On Sunday, Feb. 4, the Golden Eagles hosted the Ithaca College Bombers in front of a packed crowd at the Tuttle North Gymnastics Center. It was the first home meet since Tuesday, Jan. 9, when Brockport took down the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons 184.450–183.800. Many students were in attendance to watch the Golden Eagles compete at home for the first time this semester.

After beating Ithaca with scores of 47.675 on the vault and a 46.825 on the uneven bars, Brockport ultimately struggled on the beam. Junior Candis Kowalik placed first overall with a score of 9.750, but the next best scores from freshman Jamie Sklenar (9.550) and sophomore Shelby Schumaker (9.450) were only good enough for fifth and sixth place. 

The best event of the meet for Brockport was the floor. Kowalik led the Golden Eagles at this event by finishing with a score of 9.750. Senior Brittany Vasile followed with a 9.675. Additionally, Schumaker scored a 9.650, while junior Stephanie Mager finished with a 9.600. These high scores paved the way for Brockport as they outmatched Ithaca 48.200–47.000 on the floor. 

The Golden Eagles narrowly avoided defeat with a 188.925–188.575 victory over the Bombers. Brockport is now 5–1 on the season and 2–0 at home.

“I think we had a strong meet,” Mager said. “It wasn’t our day on beam, but each and every girl that touched that apparatus is unbelievably talented. This does not define their ability and this shouldn’t affect them. We brush it off and we come back stronger.”

Brockport head coach John Feeney thought the meet was alright and addressed the challenges his team faced.

“There was a lot of good, but we can’t make the mistakes we made,” Feeney said. “We have to work on dismounts on the bars and the beam was rough. We got a bit of a wake-up call but we’ll be okay.” 

Kowalik had the highest all-around score of the meet (28.975) and saw more strengths than weaknesses among her team.

“We had a few hiccups along the way but overall we did great as a team,” Kowalik said. “I think there were a few uncharacteristic mistakes but the team is doing great and I’m sure we’ll build from a close scoring meet like this.”

The Golden Eagles have not lost a dual meet at home since Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, and with one home meet remaining, Brockport has a chance to extend the unbeaten streak even further. 

Kowalik believes that regardless of what happens, everyone should be focused on having a good time.

“Our goal this year is to have fun,” Kowalik said. “So far we’ve done a great job of doing that.”

The Golden Eagles will travel to Ithaca, on Saturday, Feb. 10, for the Cornell University Invitational at 1 p.m.

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