Yale gymnasts had a disappointing weekend in Philadelphia as the team took last place at the Ivy League Classic for the third consecutive year.
The Bulldogs finished in fourth place at the competition with 185.550 points. Penn upset Cornell for the title, scoring 191.950 to the Big Red’s 190.550. Brown took third place with a score of 188.900. The last time the Classic came to the Palestra, Penn’s home gymnasium, was also the last time the Quakers won it. Yale has not won the Ivy League Championship since 2005, their third title in five years at the time.
Coming into the meet, the Bulldogs knew they would have their hands full. Cornell, last year’s Ivy Classic champion, had scored over 190 points four times this season while Penn had won three competitions in a row and had already beaten Yale earlier in the season. Brown had just posted a 191.500 score at the UNH Invitational. The Elis’ highest score this season was 187.450 against SCSU last week.
“Coming in fourth doesn’t look the best,” Yang said, “but if we had given it our perfect performance, we had a shot at the Ivy title.”
But falls and other costly mistakes dropped the team’s overall score to 185.550. That score, three points behind third-place Brown, was not enough to stay with the pack. The Quakers used a consistent team performance and a dominant 1.3 point margin on the vault to deny the Big Red a fourth consecutive Ivy title.
Two Yale gymnasts who performed at a high level were Talis Trevino ’12 on the floor exercise and Lindsay Andsager ’13 on the uneven parallel bars, who both tied for third place in their respective events with scores of 9.800 and 9.675. Trevino’s performance was a career best.
“Even though I wish I had been able to stick the dismount in competition … I’m thankful that I was able to put out a solid performance for the team,” Andsager said.
Nicole Tay ’14, fresh off her ECAC Rookie of the Week Award, contributed again on the balance beam with a solid 9.625, good for seventh place. She also competed on the floor exercise for the first time in over a month due to a torn tendon in her ankle.
Another injured gymnast, Mia Yabut ’12, was able to get off the disability list and competed on the bars at the Ivy Classic. It was her career debut on that apparatus, and her first performance of the season. Yabut tore a ligament in her foot in November, excluding her from every area of competition except bars, in which a majority of the strain is placed on a person’s shoulders. She said she was concerned about competing in the event because of shoulder surgery she had undergone her freshman year, but was happy about the opportunity to give back to the team.
Ultimately, she was able to make the line-up, and scored 9.225, for sixteenth.
“In early February I was cleared to practice bars and start rehab on my foot, but I couldn’t practice any landings. That was pretty interesting, because it’s a little difficult to practice bars without landing on my feet,” Yabut said, admitting, “I fell on my back a few times.”
Yale face Rutgers for the second and third time this season over spring break. The Scarlet Knights are coming off their third-highest team score in school history, 194.150, led by Colombian freshman Luisa Leal-Restrepo, who broke the school record for the all-around with a 39.375. Yang said she would consider the break a success if the team is able to best their previous top score of 187.450, regardless of the head to head results.
The competition will begin at Rutgers this Saturday, at 1 p.m.