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Gymnastics claims victory at "Tumble and Rumble"

by Paul Cifonelli - Sports Editor
Wed, Feb 19th 2020 03:00 pm
Senior Courtney Kamberalis perform their routines on Sunday, Feb. 16, at Cornell. Brockport won the `Tumble and Rumble` meet over Cornell, SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College in a season-best performance.
Senior Courtney Kamberalis perform their routines on Sunday, Feb. 16, at Cornell. Brockport won the "Tumble and Rumble" meet over Cornell, SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College in a season-best performance.

With a recent step up in competition, The College at Brockport gymnastics team was not going to be looked at any differently if it left Ithaca, New York on Sunday, Feb. 16, without a victory. Just a week after taking on Division I Yale, the Golden Eagles traveled to Cornell to participate in a “Tumble and Rumble,” which is when a wrestling meet and gymnastics meet happen in the same arena at the same time, against another Division I opponent.

Brockport faced Division I opponents two weekends in a row, which could be daunting for a team that competes two divisions below that. However, the Golden Eagles have looked beyond classifications and taken the meets one at a time.

“I feel like when we go, we always just think to do the best we can,” senior Kim Musall said. “Obviously, we want to get as close as we can to them because we just always think because they’re ranked higher than us and they’re a Division I school that they’ve got to score better than us, just because of their team. But we always just go and do the best we can and act like it’s any other week and stay super positive with it.”

Brockport lost to Yale 194.175-188.750 on Sunday, Feb. 9, but it was the third-highest team score of the season for the Golden Eagles. Musall had the highest score for Brockport on the bars with a 9.500 but was followed closely by senior Courtney Kamberalis, who had a 9.475. Juniors Jamie Skelnar and Amy Eck paced the Golden Eagles on the vault, netting a 9.600 and 9.500, respectively. Sophomore Lexi Castellaneta scored a 9.650 on the floor exercise and a 9.625 on the balance beam, leading Brockport in both events.

The loss to Yale was quickly put in the rearview mirror, partly because it was against a top opponent that had a season-high score and partly because it had another meet against a similar opponent the next weekend.

Brockport went to Cornell and took on the Big Red, SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College. Not only was it the Golden Eagles’ first time competing at Cornell, but it was the first time they competed in the format they did.

“This was definitely a unique environment, as we have never been to a ‘Tumble and Rumble’ before,” freshman Rachel Swick said. “It took a tighter focus from everybody, but it really helps knowing your team is behind you and wants you to do your best.”

The Golden Eagles posted a season-high 189.800 team score, which was higher than all three opponents. In the first event of the day, Skelnar and Castellaneta recorded nearly identical scores on the balance beam, with Skelnar netting a 9.725 and Castellaneta collecting a 9.700. Musall topped Brockport’s leaderboard on the floor exercise with a score of 9.825 and Skelnar had a 9.775 in the event. Skelnar continued her big day with a 9.600 on the vault, while Eck led the way on the bars with a 9.625.

In gymnastics, the final team scores are revealed all at the same time. The moment when Brockport found out it won was incredible for the gymnasts.

“None of us could believe it,” Eck said. When we found out the final team scores we were all shocked, mainly because Division III teams rarely ever beat Division I teams, but we were ultimately proud of all the hard work that has gone into practices leading to today’s meet. I think that being able to do this on the road and post a season-high shows the strength of our tem because you never know how another gym’s equipment is going to feel. You have no choice but to adjust, and I think we did a great job of that.”

Brockport will have one more opportunity to defeat a Division I opponent on Friday, Feb. 28, when it travels to Kent State. The Golden Eagles will compete next on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Ithaca.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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