Gymnastics rallies to defeat URI

The gymnastics team has found that scoring high at home is a hard habit to break.

The host Bulldogs (8-2) scored 193.075 Saturday in a tri-meet victory over Brown University and the University of Rhode Island. Brown’s 192.000 placed third, and Rhode Island lost to the Elis by only .2 points with 192.875.

Saturday marked the first time in the history of the Yale gymnastics program that Yale beat Rhode Island.

Yale has beaten its last eight opponents, a winning streak that includes a Feb. 1 victory over perennial gymnastics powerhouse Towson University. Saturday was the Elis’ second home victory in a row where they scored above 190.

“This weekend proved last weekend was not a fluke,” Andrea Wolf ’03 said. “This weekend reinforced our legitimacy as a Division I program that can compete with and beat scholarship schools. Most people don’t think of Yale as having a gymnastics team that would be very good, but if we can beat big Division I schools like Rhode Island and Towson, than we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

The Elis trailed by almost a point and a half going into the last event, a split that is not often overcome in gymnastics, Kathryn Fong ’05 said.

“We’re not a team that’s going to go quietly,” Fong said, “We came back and showed a lot of good things in the meet.”

Fong said a superior performance in the floor exercises, one of the Elis’ stronger events, allowed them to come back and beat Rhode Island.

“We did a great job,” Leeron Avnery ’06 said. “The reason we were down is that we started off on vault and they were judging harder on vault. I think that in the end, since we all hit our routines, we pulled off the victory.”

Yale’s high team score of 193.075 was also notable, marking the second high-scoring weekend in a row. Fong said more scores in the 190s are a definite possibility for the squad in the coming weeks.

“We definitely expect to be scoring around the 193s as long as we keep hitting our routines,” Fong said. “The more numbers we do in practice, the more repetitions we do, the easier it becomes to do the same routines well at a meet.”

Yale hits the road next weekend, heading south to the 18th annual Towson University Invitational in Towson, Md., Feb. 16.

The victory over the Rhode Island schools gives the Bulldogs needed momentum for the upcoming rematch with Towson. Last weekend, Yale beat Towson 194.8 to 193.125, setting a school record for high team score in the process.

“It’s a good thing that we’re coming off these two big wins,” Avnery said. “We believe in ourselves now, we believe that we can win, but our confidence isn’t overconfidence.”

Kathryn Fong '05 competes on the uneven bars  against Towson University Feb. 1.
Alyson Sudow
Kathryn Fong '05 competes on the uneven bars against Towson University Feb. 1.

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