With the Ivy League championship a week away, the Yale gymnastics team appear to be in top form.
In a tri-meet against Brown and Bridgeport Sunday in Providence, the Bulldogs won convincingly, coming away with 189.700 points to Bridgeport’s 183.650 and Brown’s 183.125. Yale gymnasts dominated, with Anne McPherson ’06 winning the all-around competition for the third time this season with a 37.875 and teammate Kathryn Fong ’05 earning second with a 37.600. The Bulldog’s team score was their third highest of the season and 1.8 points above their average.
One of the Elis’ strengths this weekend was their consistency. Through all four events, they never recorded a fall.
In a meet they knew they could win — the Bulldogs already beat the Bears 191.25 to 184.15 Jan. 29 — gymnasts focused on preparing for the Ivy championships next weekend.
“We knew we could win it this weekend,” said McPherson, who had a team-leading 9.75 in the floor exercise. “We also wanted to be fully prepared for next weekend. We were very careful of our landings and every tenth.”
The championship meet is shaping up to be very close between the top teams. Perennial rival Penn has a season average of 188.385 to Yale’s 187.881 while Cornell and Brown have been hovering around 184 points a meet.
One of the goals the Elis had for this meet was to hit their routines. For the most part, they had strong performances, but many Bulldogs emphasized the need for greater attention to detail in the coming week.
“I think there’s always work to be done,” said Fong, whose 9.8 on the uneven bars continued her string of wins in the event. “We were looking to maintain our consistency, so it’s good that we didn’t count any falls.”
Fong singled out landings as an area that will receive special attention in preparation for the Ivies.
“We’re focusing on landings,” she said. “Details are really going to matter in a close meet like the one we’re going to have next weekend.”
Without the pressure to win yesterday, the Bulldogs had a more relaxed outing, captain Christine Lacy ’05 said. She also noted that this weekend’s victory helped bolster the team’s confidence.
“What we needed to do was work on our confidence so that we walk into the Ivies really sure of ourselves,” Lacy said. “I think we did that — we did really well.”
McPherson also felt that the win cemented the Bulldogs’ status as contenders for the conference title.
“We realized the potential we had,” she said. “We just performed better all around. We had a lot more dynamic.”
So far, the Bulldogs have had a successful season, winning all of their meets except for their first — a Jan. 16 loss to New Hampshire. Even though they will bring plenty of momentum with them into the title meet, they still face a considerable challenge in that their top rival is an unknown. The Elis have yet to see Penn this season. Their meet against the Quakers on Jan. 22 was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Nevertheless, the Bulldogs seem ready.
“We know it’s going to be a close meet,” Lacy said. “We’re just excited.”