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Gymnastics' season-high earns Bears first victory

The gymnastics team grabbed its first win of the season Sunday at home, vanquishing two-time national champion University of Bridgeport and neighboring Southern Connecticut State University at the Pizzitola Center. In a meet the next day in Durham, N.H., the Bears scored a season-high 193.675 points but were edged out by Central Michigan University and the University of New Hampshire. Team co-captain Chelsey Binkley '11 and Carli Wiesenfeld '12 capped off an impressive week of gymnastics, taking home the ECAC Specialist of the Week award and the ECAC Coaches Choice award, respectively.

"Coming out of Ivies last weekend, we all felt like we had something to prove because we knew we could perform much better than we did," Wiesenfeld said. "Using that as motivation really helped us."

In front of a raucous home crowd Sunday, the Bears jumped out to an early lead over the rest of the field. Bridgeport tightened the gap to two points heading into the floor exercises, but Bruno took care of business on the floor, holding off the Purple Knights for the big win.

Michelle Shnayder '14 played a key role in securing the victory by tying her career-high in the floor with a first-place 9.825. Binkley also tied a career-high, scoring 9.700 on the bars, good for second place. The Bears dominated the all-around competition, with Emily Lutfey '13 and Wiesenfeld placing first and second with scores of 38.425 and 38.025, respectively.

Other standout performances included Julia Meyer '13 and Wiesenfeld on the beam, who each scored 9.650 to tie for second place. Lutfey produced a 9.700, fifth-place effort on the vault, and Katie Goddard '12 had an impressive 9.700-point, seventh-place finish on the floor exercises. Taline Lahcanski '14 also scored a career-high mark in the floor exercises with a 9.625, tenth-place performance.

The Bears kept the momentum rolling in Monday's meet at Durham, shattering school records on beam and bars and posting their highest total score of the year. But their 193.675 combined effort was not enough to overcome Central Michigan and New Hampshire, as the two schools scored 195.700 and 195.225, respectively.

Lily Siems '12 was a huge part of Bruno's record-setting bars performance with her career-high 9.825 routine.

"To see her succeed and get the highest score on bars this weekend was incredible," Wiesenfeld said. "She's such a motivation for the rest of the team and helps keep everyone pushing towards the goal of making nationals."

Wiesenfeld was the top scorer on the team's record-setting beam effort.

Other top scorers included Shnayder, Meyer and Madeline Benz '14, who all scored career-highs in the beam. Kasey Haas '13 also scored a career-high in the bars with a 9.800, eleventh-place performance.

"Right now, our team is just focusing on staying healthy and being consistent," Wiesenfeld said. "Those things go hand in hand when you're successful."

The Bears return to action this weekend when they travel to Ithaca, N.Y. Saturday to take on Cornell.


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