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Gymnastics suffers setback as regular season wraps up

by Paul Cifonelli - Sports Editor
Thu, Mar 5th 2020 04:00 pm
Sophomore Nikki Jackson runs toward the vault to perform a stunt on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Jackson was named NCGA Gymnast of the Week for the week of Feb. 24 to March 1.
Sophomore Nikki Jackson runs toward the vault to perform a stunt on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Jackson was named NCGA Gymnast of the Week for the week of Feb. 24 to March 1.

What seemed like another trip to Ithaca College for The College at Brockport gymnastics team on Sunday, Feb. 23, turned into a stunning defeat. Just a week later, Brockport suffered the same fate, and its spot in the NCGA ranking has dropped due to that.

Brockport, which held the #1 spot for the first four weeks of the season, has seen a tumble to #4 after the last two meets. While the team’s drop from #2 to #4 could be concerning to people around Brockport, the numbers show the Golden Eagles are a top two team. They still own the second highest team average in the country with a 187.642. That is only behind Centenary College, the #1 team in Division III, which sports a 188.625.

The Golden Eagles posted a team score of 186.550 at Ithaca, 0.175 behind the Bombers. This was their lowest team score since Jan. 29. Junior Amy Eck had the highest score on the bars with a 9.725. Sophomore Jensen Todd was one of two Golden Eagles to score higher than a 9.000 on the balance beam, as she had a 9.350. Freshman Emmie White led Brockport on the vault with a 9.675, but freshman Lauren Blair, junior Gina Ferdinandi and freshman Rachel Swick all had above a 9.425. Sophomore Nikki Jackson registered a near-perfect 9.825 on the floor exercise. Jackson’s performance was good enough to earn her NCGA Gymnast of the Week.

“Getting NCGA Gymnast of the Week was an honor for me and a great way to represent my school,” Jackson said. “It was a really cool accomplishment and it made me proud and my school proud.”

On Friday, Feb. 28, Brockport traveled to Kent State to face the hosts, Bowling Green and Ursinus College. The Golden Eagles posted a slightly better score of 187.725. That score placed Brockport fourth at the quad meet. Senior Shelby Schumaker had a 9.450 to lead Brockport on the balance beam, while junior Jamie Skelnar and Todd came within a point of that. Senior Courtney Kamberalis scored a 9.600 on the floor exercise and Ferdinandi, White and senior Alyssa Klock came within a point of Kamberalis. Jackson and Skelnar tied for the team lead on the vault, netting scores of 9.675. Eck led the Golden Eagles on the bars for the second week in a row with a 9.650.

The low team scores over the last few weeks have been as a result of a few factors, according to Kamberalis.

“We have had to rest some of our competitors to take a weekend off to refresh from many weekends of competition,” Kamberalis said. “Also, some of our gymnasts have overuse injuries and have taken time out prior to these two weeks and are just coming back to competition. As a result, our lineups have been changing more and we put in multiple new routines to rest some of the people who have been in most of the meets this year. Since we put in some new routines, they haven’t had as much experience in competition or had as much scoring feedback as other team members.”

Despite the two setbacks, the Golden Eagles still are the top-ranked team in the Northeast region. They have one meet to get back to their winning ways on Sunday, March 8, at SUNY Cortland. There are just a few minor adjustments that need to be made heading into the final regular season meet.

“We’re planning on getting back in the gym, working really hard and working on our confidence,” Jackson said. “We also are getting back into that good team atmosphere that we had at the beginning of the season.”

Photo of the Week

Taken by Vincent Croce:
Staff Photographer

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