GYMNASTICS | Bulldogs gear up for ECACs

The gymnastics team competed three times over the break, and after winning the first event, finished in last place in the final two. The Bulldogs started off the two weeks strong as they beat Springfield College and Rhode Island College to hit a season-high score of 189.950 in Springfield, Mass.

In the second competition of the break the Elis seemed to pick up where they left off in Springfield. The Bulldogs traveled to Rutgers where they faced the host Scarlet Knights and Towson, and despite finishing third, Yale posted another season-high team score for the second time in a row.

Brigitte Kivisto ’10 finished with a score of 9.750 on the uneven bars in the Bulldogs’ tri-meet win on March 7.
Brigitte Kivisto ’10 finished with a score of 9.750 on the uneven bars in the Bulldogs’ tri-meet win on March 7.

“Practice over break went well, and I think our meets reflect that pretty well,” Allison Mak ’10 said. “We counted a few errors this past weekend, but we earned a season-high at Rutgers and competed some very strong routines.”

The Bulldogs rounded out the break with a quad meet at Maryland where they faced stiffer competition in the host Terrapins, No. 17 Auburn, and George Washington. The Elis finished in fourth, this time plagued by occasional mishaps.

“We had a couple mistakes here and there but if we use this week to get those quirks out of the way we can pull everything together for the ECACs this weekend,” Chelsea Savit ’13 said.

The Bulldogs dominated at Springfield, taking first and second place in every event of the day. Starting on the vault, Tara Feld ’13 took first with a score of 9.750 while captain Brigitte Kivisto ’10 followed with a 9.675. Three other Bulldogs also vaulted higher than a 9.000.

On the uneven parallel bars, the Elis took complete control, filling all of the top five spots and achieving a season-high collective score of 47.325. Lindsay Andsanger ’13 finished first with a 9.750 followed closely by Kivisto with a 9.675. Feld, Stephanie Goldstein ’13, and Allison Mak ’10 rounded out the top five respectively.

“We hit on bars better than we had in the past, so that was one of many positive outcomes from the meet,” Feld said.

Kivisto found success on the beam as she posted a career-high score of 9.825 to earn her first place. Mak, the only other senior on the team, was right behind her teammate, posting a 9.675 for second place.

Kivisto came out on top once again in the floor exercise, scoring a 9.850, while Feld placed second with a 9.750. Talis Trevino ’12 and Goldstein both scored above 9.500 with 9.625 and 9.600, respectively.

The Bulldogs dominated the overall competition, placing in the top three spots. Kivisto placed first with a career-best 38.975 while Goldstein, coming in third, also hit a career-best of 37.650. Feld finished second with a 37.950.

In the second competition of the break the Elis seemed to pick up where they left off in Springfield. Finishing with a total of 191.000, good for fourth place, the Bulldogs also placed first in the all-around competition as well as in two out of four events, an accomplishment that Savit said was a confidence booster for the Elis.

“It showed us what we were realistically capable of doing if we hit all four events and if we all do what we needed to do,” she said.

The Bulldogs achieved three career-records on the vault and on the uneven parallel bars Kivisto reached a career-best while Mak hit her season-high score. But it was on the balance beam and the floor where the Elis came out on top. In the highest collective Bulldog score of the year in the event, Mak placed first with a 9.825, and the floor proved once again to be a strength for the Elis as all six gymnasts who competed either tied or beat their career-best scores. Kivisto hit another career-best, this time in the all-around competition as she came in first with a 39,075.

At Maryland, the Bulldogs didn’t find the same success as they did in the first two meets, finishing with their lowest score of the break.

Facing top-ranked competition, the Elis posted a score of 188.700, which proved to not be enough to pull ahead of their three opponents, all of which scored above 190.000.

Although the Bulldogs couldn’t mirror their Rutgers performance, they saw career-highs from Trevino and Savit on the floor and vault, respectively, and a fourth-place all-around finish for Kivisto. The Elis finished the two-week break with experience against top-ranked teams and having found success that will give them momentum for the end of their season.

“Looking forward to ECACs, we really need to compete as a strong team and have everyone hit their routine,” Mak said. “This meet is really going to require that we put forth the strongest overall team score as we can.”

The Bulldogs will travel to Philadelphia on Saturday to compete in the ECAC Championships at 12 p.m.

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