February 5, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 40°F


Gymnastics team bags balance beam title in season opener

The Ithaca College women’s gymnastics team had its season opener at Southern Connecticut State University on Jan. 16, claiming the team title on balance beam. The Blue and Gold placed third as a team, beating the only other Division III team, Springfield College.

The Bombers finished the meet with a score of 185.925. Brown University, a Division I school, won the meet with a score of 188.95, and Southern Connecticut, a Division II school, took second with a score of 187.75.

The highlight of the meet was the South Hill squad’s balance beam performance. Freshman Nina Bustamante Nadeau tied for second place with a 9.625.

Bustamante Nadeau said she was a little scared going into the meet as a freshman, but said the enthusiasm of the team calmed her down.

“My goals were to hit a routine like I have time and time again in practice and to not let my nerves take over,” Bustamante Nadeau said.

Bustamante Nadeau is only competing beam right now due to an ankle injury, but she said she is hoping to train floor and vault before next season.

In addition to Bustamante Nadeau’s strong performance on beam, sophomore Kendra Balcerak tied for fourth with a 9.55, sophomore Hannah Donnelly tied for seventh and senior co-captain Lara Haberle tied for 10th.

Graduate student and co-captain Valerie Cohen continues to compete on floor and vault.

Cohen said she is not yet where she wants to be, but is excited to be back in the gym.

“My performance was mediocre, and my goal is to be exceptional, not just mediocre,” Cohen said.

Cohen tied for eighth place on floor exercise with a score of a 9.4 and placed ninth on vault with a 9.55. She said she is proud of the team’s performance at its first meet and the progress it has made.

“We finished almost four points ahead of where we were last year, which is awesome. Knowing that we can do much better is very encouraging as well,” Cohen said.

The Bombers will compete in their first home meet on January 20 against SUNY Brockport at 4 p.m. Jan. 20 at Ben Light Gymnasium.

Madison Bess can be reached at mbess@ithaca.edu