GYMNASTICS | Elis take big step forward

Morgan Traina ’15 finished in fifth in the individual all-around with a score of 38.275, one spot behind teammate Joyce Li ’15.
Morgan Traina ’15 finished in fifth in the individual all-around with a score of 38.275, one spot behind teammate Joyce Li ’15. Photo by Kathryn Crandall.

Coming off a defeat against defending Ivy League champion Penn last weekend, the gymnastics team looked to rebound in a tri-meet against New Hampshire and George Washington at New Hampshire on Sunday. Although the Elis fell to both squads, the team posted impressive improvements over its performance against Penn.

The Bulldogs’ score of 191.225 was not enough to top New Hampshire, which won the meet with 195.425 points, or George Washington, which finished with 194.750 points. Yet the score did best the Elis’ previous season high, 187.900, by over three points, a massive improvement in gymnastics. Joyce Li ’15, the Bulldogs’ top finisher in the individual all-around, scored 38.500 points to place fourth.

“We had a little bit of a slow start where we would go to the meet and do the first two events really well, and then kind of not do as well on the last two,” captain Stephanie Goldstein ’13 said.  “We’ve really turned that around in the meet this past weekend.”

While Morgan Traina ’15 said the team still made a few mistakes, a hard week of practice spurred the Elis’ improvement. Goldstein said that she counted only one fall in the team’s scoring routines, a much lower total than in prior weeks.

The sophomore duo of Li and Traina have been standouts for the Bulldogs all season and led the team in the all-around. Traina finished just behind Li in the all-around, scoring 38.275 points en route to fifth place. The meet was won by New Hampshire’s Austyn Fobes, who scored 39.275 points.

“We’re really not competitive with each other at all because it’s all about the team,” Traina said about Li. “She definitely pushes me to work harder.”

Although neither Li nor Traina placed higher than seventh in any of the individual events — the uneven parallel bars, the vault, the balance beam and the floor exercise — their overall efforts were still enough to capture the fourth and fifth spots in the all-around competition.

Goldstein noted that the team performed well in the floor and beam routines. She also said that Lindsay Andsager ’13, the Elis’ specialist on the uneven bars, completed an especially impressive routine on the apparatus. Andsager scored 9.750 points, good for fourth in the meet on the uneven bars.

Two other Yale athletes finished in the top 10 in the all-around. Goldstein placed eighth with 37.350 points, and her senior teammate Tara Feld ’13 scored 37.625 points en route to a seventh-place finish. No other Bulldog athlete competed in all four events.

“It was a big step up over our past meets,” Goldstein said. “I’m just hoping that as we continue going forward in season, we’ll keep doing that, keeping the focus and enthusiasm all meet and then I think we’ll be in really good shape for Ivies.”

The gymnastics team will continue its season next weekend at the Big Red Invitational at Cornell.

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