Rutgers rolls in contest at SUNY Cortland
The Rutgers gymnastics team traveled to New York on Friday night and returned with an important victory.
The Scarlet Knights defeated SUNY Cortland 187.5 to 183.5, but more importantly, were able to use this meet as a learning experience.
While the team's performance does not look convincing on paper, head coach Chrystal Chollet-Norton said that she is still pleased with the results.
"It was a Division III team, so we knew we could win without a problem," Chollet-Norton said.
This confidence allowed the team to attempt more difficult skills in preparation for their meet at Penn State.
"We were trying harder things to get the jitters out before the next meet," Chollet-Norton said.
Even with the increased difficulty, the team still turned in strong individual performances.
Despite only competing in her second all-around contest this season, freshman Nicole Schwartz came in second place with a score of 37.750.
Senior Kristy Behr turned in another strong performance with a season-high score of 9.575 on the bars. With her first place finish in New York, Behr is quickly establishing herself as one of the most consistent performers on the team.
"Kristy Behr is becoming a staple in the bar lineup, which takes pressure off of the freshmen and sophomores," Chollet-Norton said.
Other strong performances were turned in by junior Alyssa Lewandowski in the floor exercise, sophomore Erica Gerlach on the bars and freshman Danae Johnson on the beam.
A significant aspect to the meet beyond the results was senior Latara Northcutt's continued recuperation from an injury suffered Jan. 31 at West Virginia. For the second straight meet, Northcutt was only able to compete on the vault.
"Latara is getting closer to being able to compete in beam, floor and all-around. At this point, she is day-to-day," Chollet-Norton said.
Northcutt's return will bear increased importance because of her leadership as RU prepares for a difficult weekend trip to Penn State.
"The squad we had [on Friday] did a great job, but we were missing people to injury," Chollet-Norton said. "As we start getting healthier, we should compete at an even higher level."