Gymnastics edges University of Pennsylvania by slimmest of margins

A difference of 1.2 points may not sound like a lot, but it was enough for the Yale gymnastics squad in its 189.45-188.25 win over the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday.

With the win in Philadelphia, the Bulldogs advance to 5-2 on the winter.

Yale dominated the vault and the bars events, but Penn mounted an impressive comeback in the final two events. The Quakers scored season highs on both the beam and the floor, but they were unable to overcome the Elis’ early lead. The Quakers’ score was also a season high, but it was still not enough.

“There were a lot of good performances,” Andrea Wolf ’03 said. “We started out really strong, and we had a lot of momentum in the beginning. We just had to go out and try to do as best as we could.”

Kathryn Fong ’05 was the top all-around performer at the meet, scoring 38.500, including a 9.825 in both the balance beam and the uneven bars.

Leeron Avnery ’06 was also a top performer, coming in fifth all around with a 36.025.

“We’ve beaten them the past three years,” Avnery said, “They were actually a lot better than I was expecting them to be. We got a really good start that pulled us through the entire meet.”

In gymnastics, each team fields six people for each event, and the top five scores count. These event scores, combined after four events, make for the team score. But sometimes, teams are allowed to field extra competitors to compete exhibition style, where they are still judged but the scores do not count.

The Penn meet offered many Bulldogs a chance to compete, Wolf said.

“It gives them experience, gets more people involved, and makes it more of a team sport,” Wolf said.

The Bulldogs have their first home meet next weekend, against Towson Feb. 1.

–Nick Baumann

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