Sometimes, the third time is just not the charm.
The gymnastics team (14-9) placed second behind the College of William and Mary in the ECAC championship meet for the third year in a row Saturday. It was Yale’s first year hosting the event, which the Bulldogs have never won. William and Mary finished at 195.200, just three-tenths of a point ahead of Yale’s 194.900 — a new school record for high score in a gymnastics meet for the Elis.
Although the Elis were ranked behind William and Mary in the ECAC going into the tournament, many team members said they thought they could. A low score on beam doomed Yale’s hopes.
Andrea Wolf ’03, who competed in her final collegiate meet, was satisfied with the team’s performance despite the loss.
“Obviously, we were ranked second, and we had thought we could win anyway,” Wolf said. “But, we had such an impressive finish that we thought, ‘How can you not be proud of yourself for that?’ Out of the 24 routines we performed, we hit 22 of them. We had good routines all over the place, and a lot of impressive performances.”
The Elis placed three in the top six of the all-around. Kathryn Fong ’05, the Elis’ star sophomore, was the all-around champion with a 39.300. Jamie Green ’03 finished second in the all-around with a 39.100. Anne McPherson’s ’06 38.625 placed her sixth.
Team captain Shoshanna Engel ’03 was proud of the team.
“It was absolutely fabulous,” Engel said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the way the team performed and how we did. The last three years in a row it’s been really close, but this year we broke the school record we set earlier in the year, and we had a lot of very good individual performances.”
On the vault and bars, Yale kept pace with William and Mary. Yale totaled 48.375 on the vault and 48.560 on the bars; William and Mary scored 48.575 on vault and 48.850 on bars.
Carolyn Wright ’03, competing in her last collegiate match, scored second in the vault with her 9.750. But William and Mary claimed four of the top six spots in the event to claim the early lead. Fong and Green both scored 9.675 to tie for seventh in vault.
In bars, Fong (9.850) claimed the top position, but Rachel Glassmire (9.825) and Allison Shonerd (9.825) of William and Mary kept their team ahead by tying for third.
On beam, Yale ran into trouble. Yale’s 48.425 again fell beneath the leader’s 48.700, and despite the Elis’ strong 49.450 floor finish, Yale ended in second place. William and Mary scored just 49.075 on the floor.
Fong’s 9.875 was among Yale’s few bright spots on beam. Yale swept the top three places of the floor. Green won, scoring a dominant 9.950. McPherson (9.925) and Fong (9.900) placed second and third, respectively.
James Madison (193.075), Brown (194.000), the University of Pennsylvania (191.900) and Cornell (192.600) rounded out the rest of the schools at the ECAC meet.
The tournament marked the last meet of the season and the last meet in the college careers of the team’s six seniors. The team will graduate six of its 15 members in May.
Wolf said Thursday she anticipated she would have mixed feelings about the tournament.
“[Gymnastics] is hard, because with most sports you can play after graduation — maybe play a pickup game of basketball or go swimming in the pool,” Wolf said. “Gymnastics is pretty much over [after graduation]. I’m sure it’ll be emotional for some people, because it has been such a big part of our lives. I’m sure a lot of girls have feelings about it. I know that for me, it’s especially bittersweet.”
After the meet, Wolf said she was happy with the way her last meet turned out.
“It was a really close meet, and it comes down to the landings and little mistakes,” Wolf said. “It was a great meet for me to end my career on.”
Yale ended the season ranked No. 55 in the nation with a 191.130 average score. The Bulldogs’ 192.175 regional qualifying score was not high enough to qualify for the NCAA regional gymnastics tournament.
In NCAA women’s gymnastics, the RQS is determined by taking the top six total meet scores for each team, three of which must be away. The high score is then dropped, and the remaining five scores are averaged together. Yale finished sixth in the Northeast, behind Michigan, Penn State, Pittsburgh, New Hampshire, and Rutgers, two spots too low to qualify for the regional championship.