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MIT heads down to Brown and URI joins the party.


By David F.P.
(Scores from Troester and Eyewitness account.) [ Image Gallery ]

PROVIDENCE, RI- The Engineers from MIT took the drive down I-95 to meet their frequent opponent in the Brown Bears. For Brown it would be the second straight home meet of the year after hosting Towson in the season opener. MIT was looking to build off a couple of tough scoring weeks as well. Also in town was the University of Rhode Island club team, which has risen from the ashes of the team’s cut as a varsity sport last season.

URI’s team, consisting of some former varsity athletes, as well as a host of new talent joined the MIT and Brown on the competition floor in school colors keeping alive the sport at their institution. The result would be a 186.5 for Brown, which improved on last week’s mark, and MIT posted a 179.35, which was a whopping 9 point jump from the past week. A big crowd filled into the gym at the Pizzitola Center to take in the event.

When competition began Brown headed to the vault and MIT to the uneven bars. Brown’s six competitors all performed solidly with Carli Wiesenfeld’s 9.55 and Lilly Siems 9.525 leading the way. Chelsey Binkley was close to that with her 9.4, and Melissa Bowe, Vicki Zanelli and Izzy Kirkam-Lewitt were not far behind either. The end result was a 47.

MIT’s Julia Zimmerman returned to all around competition after an injury limited her events last week, and posted a 9.5. Leanna Morinishi had a 9.0 and the Stavely twins (Elizabeth and Rebecca), and Alison Barnard were close to that. MIT’s 44.75 marked nearly a 3 point improvement on that event from the week before.

Brown moved to the Uneven Bars, while MIT headed to Beam. Zanelli led the team with a 9.4, and Jennifer Sobuta, Siems, and Kirkham-Lewitt were within 2 tenths of that. The Bars would be Brown’s lowest scoring event of the day with a 45.85, but that bad news was tempered by the fact that the scores would rise from there.
It would be the Engineers’ best event of the day as Zimmerman exploded off the vault for a 9.775. Morinishi, Rebecca Stavely, and Karis Stevenson posted solid scores a few tenths behind, and Elizabeth Stavely rounded out the counted scores with a 9.175. This all came together for 46.975 which was just .025 behind Brown.

Brown turned to always nefarious beam and put up a 46.5 led by Zanelli and Binkley’s 9.475s. Siems was right behind them, and Lauren Tucker and Katie Goddard both put in scores over 9 as well. MIT went to floor. Zimmerman has switched music from her Violent Femmes medley and instead has a mix of themes including Ghostbusters and the Munsters, the dead content of the subject matter aside she is still throwing an exciting routine and had a 9.625. Katie Mingo inherited Sophia Harrison’s old metallic rock mix and put up a 9.45 for second among Tech gymnasts. Morinishi flipped to a 9.2, with Rachael Holmes and Elizabeth Stavely adding in the counted scores to bring things to a 45.7.

Brown wrapped up on Floor with their best score of the day a 47.15. Binkley and Helen Segal both posted 9.575s and Wiesenfeld’s 9.425 added to the top score, with Whitney Diederich, and Zanelli also posting close scores to build the team total.

MIT ended on Beam but had a tough go of it with a lot of falls along the way unfortunately. Morinishi had the top score of 9.075 with MIT having to count three scores in the 8s and one in the high 7s. The Beam has caught many a gymnast throughout the history of the sport, but even given that MIT improved its team totals immensely.

Zanelli had a 37.4 for the day in the all around ending up .1 behind All Around winner Zimmerman. Morinishi had a 36.65 as well for the day.

URI’s scores were unavailable but it wouldn’t make much sense to compare them. The club team did not always compete a full lineup per event and was definitely still feeling things out, but they were there and throwing various skills as is expected.

More reports will follow breaking down the routines (within limits) based on the meet, and normally there will be more detail to the reports though it was a very chaotic with three teams at once so the observations coming out of the meet will rely more on the reviewing the video and commenting.

Both Brown and MIT had their tough events but also had some very good ones to build upon. For Brown, it’s a wide open Ivy League right now, and for MIT they are building a lineup with mainly freshmen and sophomores bolstered by veterans.

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