Despite Eli gymnast wins in three of the four events, the Yale gymnastics team lost 192.75-192.25 to Rutgers at the John J. Lee Amphitheater Saturday.
Yale’s team score rose almost a point from last weekend, extending the Bulldogs’ streak of improved scores to six consecutive meets. Kathryn Fong ’05 won bars, Anne McPherson ’06 took beam and Suchitra Paul ’07 placed first in floor in the losing effort. Paul, Eli captain Jamie Green ’04 and Scarlet Knight Elizabeth Fittery all scored 38.475, tying for first in the all-around competition.
The gymnasts were confident in their ability to continue improving.
“We definitely did a lot better on beam and floor,” Paul said. “All of us hit our routines on beam and our floor scores were really high. We keep getting better and better. By the time Ivies come around we’ll be more well put together.”
Leeron Avnery ’06 said the meet was a great success.
“We were really happy with how we did,” Avnery said. “We all made beam, which was really great, and we only had trouble on bars.”
Jess Tai ’07, who was out with an ankle injury at the beginning of the season and continues to compete on a limited basis, said injuries have been the largest hurdle for the team to overcome.
“Injuries have been our biggest setback overall,” Tai said. “At one point I think we had maybe six or seven girls who were injured. I’ve just been doing vault and next week I hope I’ll be able to compete in one or two more events.”
Despite having their only win come against a Division II team, Yale’s scores are on par with the rest of the Ivy League squads, giving the Elis a good chance of repeating last years’ Ivy League Championship-winning performance.
In gymnastics, it is the score that counts — not a team’s record — so even though Yale is 1-8, it still has a shot at making the NCAA Regional Championships because it has been consistently scoring in the 190s and the teams it has faced in meets have been highly competitive.
The Bulldogs will spend this week preparing for the University of New Hampshire Invitational Feb. 21 and the Ivy League Championships the following weekend.
Avnery said the team is excited about the Ivies.
“We’re really confident,” Avnery said. “We’ve proved we can get a higher score, and I think Ivies are going to go well. It’s only going to get better.”