Sometimes 13 is not an unlucky number — except on the bars of a gymnastics event.
For the 13th time, the gymnastics team won the 27th annual Ivy Classic on Sunday, beating Brown, Cornell, and Penn. Bulldog gymnasts won three of the four events, and Kathryn Fong ’05 was the meet’s all-around champion.
But Fong nearly took a spill when the bars collapsed during the third rotation.
The Bulldogs (11-2) edged host Penn 192.3-192.0 at the Palestra, with Brown and Cornell at 189.425 and 187.675, respectively.
“We are all thrilled,” captain Shoshanna Engel ’03 said. “To represent Yale and win an Ivy championship is just amazing.”
Jamie Green ’04 tied for first on the floor, Yale’s first event. Engel said she was impressed by Green’s victory because it was early in the meet, when scores are traditionally lower.
“She did the best work I’ve ever seen her do,” Engel said. “To pull off that victory early on was just awesome.”
Anne McPherson ’06 won the bars, scoring 9.825 with a routine that Engel said was absolutely amazing.
“It was awesome,” McPherson said. “When I went up there, I wanted to make it for the team. Winning individually made it that much better.”
The bars collapsed during the end of Fong’s warm-up near the end of the third rotation.
“One of the bolts on the cables broke,” Leeron Avnery ’06 said. “And as [Fong] let go, the bars started falling, and as she landed, the bars collapsed right behind her. We really picked it up after that, though, and handled the pressure really well. The whole arena was watching us, because everyone else had already finished their third rotation [by the time the bars had been put back up].”
Fong went on to tie for first in the bars with 9.900 and was the high scorer overall, at 38.825.
“Our last four bar workers were amazing,” Engel said. “They just stepped up and nailed it.”
The three-week break since the team’s last competition did not slow the team down.
“I don’t think we were worried that it would negatively affect our performance,” Engel said. “I don’t think it was a disadvantage at all. We were more focused on today than on whether or not we had recently competed.”
But even with the Ivy Classic in their belts, the season continues for the Bulldogs. The Elis travel to Rutgers next weekend for a quad meet with Brown and Michigan State.
The Ivy victory should provide lots of momentum.
“We’re setting ourselves up to have a fabulous rest of the season,” Engel said.