GYMNASTICS | Elis strive for consistency

Spring break was a roller-coaster ride for the Yale gymnastics team.

The Bulldogs competed for three consecutive weeks over the break with mixed results. Their first meet, held at Towson University against Towson and William and Mary on March 2, was a disappointment both in terms of their score (187.950) and their last-place finish. The team then bounced back at the George Washington Invitational six days later with a season-high score of 191.175. The third meet of the break, a quad meet on March 16 at Towson with the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington University, was a mixed bag for the Elis. A disastrous beam rotation dragged down their score, while strong rotations on vault, bars and floor left the team hopeful for the upcoming ECAC Championship.

“We know what we need to do on beam, and if we do that we’ll have a really great team score [at ECACs],” Tara Feld ’13 said.

Lindsay Andsager ’13 said the team’s meet against Towson and William and Mary was its “worst meet of the season.” She added that the team’s performance was “unfortunate” this late in the season when it should be improving. The team had falls on both beam and bars, with scores of 46.425 and 46.175, respectively, its two lowest events of the meet.

The highlight of the meet for Yale was a flawless floor exercise. The team scored a 48.250, its highest mark of the competition. Feld was Yale’s top scorer on floor with a 9.75, good enough for sixth on the event. Andsager’s bar routine was another bright spot for the Bulldogs, scoring a 9.7. Joyce Li ’15 was the top all-around scorer for Yale; she placed fifth with a score of 38.425.

After a tough week of practice, the team turned it around at the George Washington Invitational. Not only was the meet encouraging because the team posted a new season high score, but the team also exhibited consistency, particularly in the first three events. On bars, beam and floor, the team counted no falls toward its overall score.

Vault was especially strong for the Bulldogs. The team’s score of 47.900 was its highest of the season. Yale’s top three finishers on vault, Feld, Li and Stephanie Goldstein ’13, all scored above a 9.5.

Beam posed the biggest problems for the Bulldogs. After an unblemished meet, the team was forced to swallow two falls in their team score. Without those falls, “we would have been neck and neck with George Washington,” Andsager said. Despite its low points, Yale had two strong performances. The top two Yale finishers of the event were Morgan Traina ’15 and Feld, who scored impressive figures of 9.8 and 9.775, respectively.

The Bulldogs performed well individually, a fact demonstrated in the all-around results: Traina (38.575), Feld (38.35) and Li (38.35) swept the top three spots.

“When it came to the podium and awards, we swept most of the events,” team captain Mia Yabut ’12 said.

The Elis’ second trip to Towson last weekend proved better than their first, but it still did not live up to their full potential. The score of 189.325 was the product of three strong events, and one severely below par. Beam was the event on which the team struggled the most, as evidenced by a low score of 46.200. The event was riddled with falls.

“The first person hit her routine, and after that everybody fell on something,” Feld said, adding that she hopes the team has the falls “out of their systems” and will be more consistent next weekend at ECACs.

The other three events — vault, bars and floor — were successful for the Bulldogs. They scored 47.825 on vault, 47.275 on bars and, in another impressive floor display, 48.025. Individual highlights included Yabut, who scored a 9.775 on vault, which placed her in a five-way tie for fifth on the event. Andsager continued her domination on bars with the team’s top score of 9.675. The team’s top all-around finisher was Feld, who placed third with a 38.4.

Yale’s next gymnastics meet, the ECAC Championship, will take place March 24 in Philadelphia at noon.

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