Bulldogs finish season quietly

Despite a season that saw some of the program’s greatest successes in recent years, the women’s gymnastics team parted ways on a relatively quiet note.

The Bulldogs wrapped up their 2005-06 campaign on Saturday at the ECAC championships, finishing fourth of nine teams. The Elis tied Cornell with a team score of 188.80. Towson, the defending champion, took home first place with a 191.275. They were followed by William & Mary with 190.350 and by Penn, who posted a team score of 189.050.

Individually, Kimberley So ’09 finished fourth in the all-around competition, earning a score of 38.225. Miki Seltzer ’07 nabbed third place on the vault with a 9.7 and tied for fourth place with teammate So on the floor with another 9.7. Lauren Tatsuno ’09 posted a 9.575 on the beam, good for fourth place.

The Elis also racked up a number of awards at the ECAC Gymnastics awards dinner. Alina Liao ’09 was recognized for her consistent performances throughout the season and won the prestigious ECAC Rookie of the Year award. Seltzer was honored as the ECAC Specialist of the Year in recognition of her stellar performances in the floor and vault events.

Laura Lombardi ’08 was named ECAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She was not the only one to receive academic honors — all 15 members of the team earned All-ECAC Academic recognition.

Team members said the prestigious individual awards helped to salve the wounds from the team’s mediocre performance at the championships.

“There were three main awards … and we took two of them,” So said. “That was a huge accomplishment for Yale.”

Still, team members said they wished they could have finished the season with a better result. Captain Anne McPherson ’06 said she hoped the Elis would top perennial rival Penn, in particular. The Elis beat the Quakers in a come-from-behind victory on Jan. 21, but they fell to them more recently at the Ivy Classic on Feb. 26. This weekend, Penn racked up one of its top scores of the season.

“We did okay, but we could have done better,” Tatsuno said. “We didn’t do as well on floor and beam as we could have done.”

A number of errors on crucial events were the cause of the Bulldogs’ mediocre performance. On beam two gymnasts fell, and on bars the Elis had one fall and one big break in the routine. But team members said that overall the strong performances on the bars were noteworthy.

“Our bars were amazing,” McPherson said. “It was probably one of the best leaps for bars this season.”

But the Bulldogs could not depend solely on one outstanding routine. Team members said the lack of consistency throughout the four events was the chief problem.

So and McPherson also said that after a strenous season, the Bulldogs were on their last legs.

“All our bodies need a rest,” McPherson said.

But for some team members, that rest will be relatively brief. Tatsuno, Seltzer, Liao and So have tentative plans to compete in NCAA regionals on April 8 in Ann Arbor, Mich. McPherson said the gymnasts will decide today whether or not to compete in the event.

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