Gymnastics uses Strong Floor Exercise to Overtake Cornell, 189.775-189.300

PHILADELPHIA - Penn Gymnastics picked up its third straight victory Sunday at Hutchinson Gymnasium against Ivy League foe Cornell. The Quakers now have three consecutive victories and they have all come over the other three schools that sponsor gymnastics in the Ivy League. Trailing by just under two-tenths of a point heading into the final event for both teams, Penn went to what has been its strength all year and put on a clinic in the Floor Exercise. Cornell scored higher than Penn in both the Vault and Uneven Parallel Bars to open the action; however the momentum started to turn when Penn hit the Balance Beam and carried that energy into the Floor Exercise. Penn claimed three individual event champions on the day and also had the top two All Around gymnasts.

The day started off on the Vault for Penn and this was the only event in which the Quakers did not claim an individual champion. Despite no Quaker presence at the very top of the leader board, Dana Bonincontri used a strong run to put herself in second place overall for the event. Diana Moock and Kirsten Strausbaugh also had sound performances to put themselves at fourth and fifth respectively. Laura DiPaolo and Katie Graham rounded out the Quaker's scorers with their seventh and ninth place finishes.

With an injury in the sustained in the Vault for a gymnast scheduled to compete in the Uneven Parallel Bars, the Quakers were down to five gymnasts heading into the event. This placed even more pressure on a team that has been up and down all year in the bars competition. Nevertheless, Bonincontri and Strausbaugh closed out the event strong with their one-two finish. Megan Milavec also had a good showing in the event, placing sixth. Moock and Elise Bowe would go on to finish eighth and tenth in their scoring efforts.

Penn started to kick it into high gear entering the Balance Beam for its third event of the day. The Quakers broke their previous team-high score of the year with a combined score of 47.625. Bonincontri posted her second event victory of the day with a career best mark (9.775). Keolamau Yee tied her career best score (9.700) to finish second. Graham and Strausbaugh finished in fifth and seventh with high marks. Graham's performance bested her personal season- high score. Elise Bowe finished tenth in the Balance Beam to finish out the Quaker score.

The performance on Balance Beam put the Quakers in a position to take the meet and they would seize the opportunity. With the momentum on their side, Penn claimed the top four positions individually in the floor. Strausbaugh continued her strong season in the event, claiming the top spot, yet again. She was followed closely by Milavec, Bonincontri, and Yee who rounded out the top four individuals. Graham, who finished with a season-best score (9.425) finished in eighth place on the day.

Bonincontri and Strausbaugh were the only two Quakers to compete in all four events and showed their personal merit with first and second place finishes in the All Around. The All Around victory for Bonincontri was her second consecutive. She also shattered her career-high All Around score that she set earlier in the year in the process. Strausbaugh set her season-best score in the All Around to cap another solid showing.

The win against Cornell snaps a seven-meet losing streak that the Big Red had over Penn. It also avenges the result of the opening weekend when the Quakers finished behind Cornell in the George Washington Invitational. Despite two meets together already, Penn and Cornell will also see each other at the Towson Invitational a week before the Ivy Classic.

Next up for Penn will be a Wednesday night meet against West Chester, Wilson, and late entry Ursinus on February 9. This quad meet will be the final home competition for the Quakers until they return to Philadelphia to compete in the Ivy Classic at The Palestra.

Full results of today's competition are available here.

Full Penn Results

Team Score 189.775
All Around
1 Dana Bonincontri 38.825
2 Kirsten Strausbaugh 38.350
Vault
2 Dana Bonincontri 9.600
4 Diana Moock 9.450
5 Kirsten Strausbaugh 9.425
7 Laura DiPaolo 9.400
9 Katie Graham 9.325
11 Elise Bowe 9.225
Uneven Parallel Bars
1 Dana Bonincontri 9.850
2 Kirsten Strausbaugh 9.700
6 Megan Milavec 9.475
8 Diana Moock 9.175
10 Elise Bowe 8.800
Balance Beam
1 Dana Bonincontri 9.775
2 Keolamau Yee 9.700
5 Katie Graham 9.625
7 Kirsten Strausbaugh 9.500
10 Elise Bowe 9.025
12 Megan Milavec 8.475
Floor Exercise
1 Kirsten Strausbaugh 9.725
2 Megan Milavec 9.625
3 Dana Bonincontri 9.600
4 Keolamau Yee 9.575
8 Katie Graham 9.425
12 Nicki Valenti 9.200