Gymnastics Heads to Ball State Friday for Tri-Meet

PHILADELPHIA – The Penn gymnastics team will take its farthest road trip of the season on Friday. The Quakers will make their way to Muncie, Ind. for a 7 p.m. tri-meet hosted by Ball State – they will also compete against Centenary College. This will be the Red and Blue’s first tri-meet of the season.

The Quakers have been improving all season, and have bested their previous meet’s overall score every time they’ve competed. Additionally, they’ve been getting contributions from everyone up and down the roster, with 12 gymnasts competing to this point in the season.

Individually, Dana Bonincontri leads the squad as she has gotten off to an amazing start in 2013. The senior has participated 12 events so far and placed third or better in eight of them, including four first-place finishes. She has also placed first in the all-around in two of Penn’s three meets this season. Bonincontri is a two-time ECAC Gymnast of the Week this season, and the week she didn’t win, she scored .100 off her career-high with a 39.125 and a first-place finish in the all-around at Rutgers.

Co-captain Kirsten Strausbaugh has been right behind Bonincontri in every all-around finish this season. The senior has also participated in all 12 events, and has been especially dominant on the floor exercise – she placed second in the first two meets and first against Yale.

Freshmen have also contributed to this point – a total of five have competed in the first three meets. The two shining stars of that young group have been Elyse Shenberger and Carissa Lim. Shenberger has competed in three events in each meet this season, and her most recent exploits against Yale – third-place on beam, fourth on floor, and fifth on vault – earned her the title of ECAC Co-Rookie of the Week. Lim has participated on vault and floor in all three meets, scoring her highest at the Rutgers quad-meet with a 9.625 and 9.650, respectively.

Ball State comes into the meet at 2-2, having competed four times this season – all dual meets. Other than the season-opening 196.575-190.550 loss to now No. 1-Florida, the Cardinals have had final results decided by less than fourth-tenths of a point. Their highlight win of the season was over then-No. 16 Central Michigan, a MAC rival, by .325 for their first win of the season.

Centenary competes at the Division III level and will be competing in its third meet of the season. The Ladies placed second out of four teams in their first meet, the Ozone Collegiate Classic, scoring 184.275. They bumped up their score in their second meet to 189.150, falling in a dual meet to Southeast Missouri State.

All the action will get under way at 7 p.m. in the Irving Gymnasium.