PHILADELPHIA – The Penn gymnastics team was back in action on Friday night for the first time this season. The first event of the night was the annual Red vs. Blue Intrasquad meet, and head coach John Ceralde got a chance to see what the majority of his roster has to offer for this upcoming season. Following the meet, Ceralde and his team received their Ivy Classic championship rings – the second consecutive year they did so.
Ceralde introduced the ring ceremony by listing off his team’s record-setting accomplishments from the prior season – one in which it added an ECAC championship and a few outstanding individual performances at the NCAA Regionals and USAG Nationals to its second consecutive Ivy Classic title. Last season’s seniors also made the trip back, receiving their rings with the rest of the squad on Friday night.
As for the match, almost everyone healthy enough did compete, giving Ceralde a good look at what he has to work with in his quest for an Ivy Classic threepeat. Some names that highlighted the match were Dana Bonincontri, Keolamau Yee, and Kirsten Strausbaugh to name a few. Bonincontri – scored the highest on the night on vault, bars, and tied for the highest on beam and floor – and Strausbaugh – tied for the highest score on floor – were simply continuing their success from last season. Yee – tied for the highest score on beam – made her first appearance since her freshman year after missing all of last season with an injury. The native of Hawaii showed flashes of the talent she will bring to this season’s roster with her consistent routine.
In addition, five of the six freshmen on this year’s roster made their Quaker debut. Morgan Venuti competed on vault and bars, posting one of the top scores on bars for the night. Amber Hu competed on vault, bars, beam, and floor, posting the second highest score of the night on beam. Carissa Lim competed on vault, beam, and floor, posting the team’s second highest score on vault. Emily Paterson showed great improvement on her release move on bars, and also competed on vault. Lastly, Elyse Shenberger, the lone rookie on the red squad, participated on vault, beam, and floor, posting competitive scores on vault and beam.
The Quakers will hit the mat for their season opener on Jan. 13 in Washington, D.C. at the George Washington Invitational.