GYMNASTICS | Yale achieves highest score yet

It keeps getting better and better for the gymnastics team.

Yale scored 190.4 points in its home meet on Saturday, which marks its highest score of the season. It was good enough to beat Springfield College (185.625) and Rhode Island University (170.7), but not to defeat Bridgeport (193.075). The Elis had strong individual performances fueling its end result. Tara Feld ’13 placed second in the all-around competition, and Morgan Traina ’15 took third.

“I think it’s great that we’re continuing to get better at each meet,” Traina said in an email to the News, “and I know that we can do even more in the meets to come.”

Since the team is focused on its goal of winning the Ivy League Championship, the loss to Bridgeport is not as significant as the team’s improved score, team captain Mia Yabut ’12 said.

“At this point we’re just thinking about our [team’s] individual performance,” said Yabut.

Feld added that Bridgeport’s level of competition only helped the Bulldogs compete at their highest level.

Vault was a strong start for the Elis. Yale’s two twisting vaults delivered the highest scores for the Bulldogs. Feld, who competed a Yurchenko full, scored a 9.725, and Traina, who competed a Yurckenko tuck full, scored a 9.500. Feld’s score placed her fourth in the event, a solid start to another solid meet for her.

Bars was a dynamic event for the Bulldogs.

“Bars was the best I’ve ever seen,” said Yabut, who, as a senior, has seen Yale compete for four years. The Elis stuck dismount after dismount. Traina stuck her double back tuck, Nicole Tay ’14 stuck her double layout, and Lindsay Andsager ’13 stuck her double tuck dismount. Each salute was met by a smile from the judge, who awarded the Bulldogs the points they deserved. Yale took first, second and third place on bars with Andsager (9.850), Tay (9.775) and Traina (9.750). The total team score on bars was 48.650, which surpassed the team’s goal of scoring 48 on each event.

The Bulldogs’ next event was beam. Beam is the smallest gymnastics apparatus, but it has caused the biggest problems for Yale this season. This meet was no exception. The team was forced to count two falls in its team score, plummeting its team score on beam to 46.625 and making it the Elis’ lowest-scoring event of the day.

“I think part of the issue is a lack of confidence on some of the routines,” Feld said. “We need to focus on confidence as a team in general,” she added. As a result, Yabut said the team is expected to work on beam during this week of practice.

Yale’s floor routines had a couple of mistakes, but they were much better than last week’s routines as the team scored a respectable 47.850 points. Feld topped the charts. Her sky-high tumbling placed her in second with a score of 9.775. Feld’s finish earned her second place in the all-around with a score of 38.500, edging out teammates Traina (38.475) and Joyce Li ’15 (37.600), who finished third and fourth. The only competitor to beat the trio was Bridgeport’s Monica Mesalles, who competed in the 2004 Olympics for Spain.

Next Saturday the team has its last meet before Ivy League Championships, against Southern Connecticut State University. Its goal is to hit 24 out of 24 routines next week, Yabut said.

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