GYMNASTICS | Bulldogs fall short at Ivy Classic

Tara Feld ’13 scored a 9.825 in the floor event, and Joyce Li ’15 finished third in the individual all-around with a score of 38.700.
Tara Feld ’13 scored a 9.825 in the floor event, and Joyce Li ’15 finished third in the individual all-around with a score of 38.700. Photo by Philipp Arndt.

After posting its best team performance to date at the Bulldog Invitational two weekends ago, the Yale gymnastics team looked to build on its momentum at the Ivy Classic at home this Saturday. Despite a disappointing overall team result, several individual gymnasts turned in impressive performances, including an individual Ivy championship.

The Bulldogs’ overall score of 191.100  left them in last place among the field of four, just off the pace of Penn, which finished with a score of 191.600. Brown won the meet with a score of 193.925 and Cornell finished second with 193.025 points.

Tara Feld ’13 shone for the Elis, scoring a 9.825 in the floor event to secure the individual Ivy championship in that event. For the third meet in a row, Joyce Li ’15 turned in the Bulldogs’ best individual all-around result, finishing third with a score of 38.700, 0.150 points behind winner Michelle Shnayder of Brown.

“Our overall finish was pretty disappointing and frustrating for the team,” team captain Stephanie Goldstein ’13 said. “But it really speaks to our potential that we still broke 191.0 even having to count so many falls, particularly on beam.”

Head coach Barbara Tonry said the team has not been able to turn in a complete performance on the bars, beam, vault and floor this season. Working to translate technical results in practice to competitive success remains one of the Bulldogs’ primary difficulties, Camila Opperman ’16 added.

Sophomore standouts Li and Morgan Traina ’15 led the team in the all-around competition. Traina finished with 38.300 points to finish fifth, two places behind Li.

“They’re superstars.” said Goldstein. “[Li and Traina] consistently deliver great routines, due in large part to the work they always put in during practice. They’re both extremely dedicated and set a great example for the team to follow.”

In addition to the sophomore duo’s success in the all-around competition, Lindsay Andsager ’13 tied for second on the bars with a score of 9.800.

Yale also placed four gymnasts in the top seven of the all-around competition. Feld finished sixth with a score of 38.150, while Goldstein posted a 37.625 en route to a seventh place finish. Feld, Andsager and Goldstein, who tied for seventh in the floor exercises, all competed for the last time at home in New Haven.

Goldstein said that fan support was exceptional at the Classic, particularly a group of four Berkeley seniors bearing the body-painted letters Y-A-L-E.

“[Gymnastics] is a performance sport, so having the crowd behind you really helps,” Opperman said. “The Classic was the first time I really felt the energy from the fans this year.”

The Bulldogs will get another shot at the Bears when both teams compete at the New Hampshire Invitational, in Durham, N.H.

“We want to give Brown a hard time,” coach Tonry said. “The difficulty is trying to get the kids, after all they put into Saturday, to try and get them motivated about what we have to do on our next series of goals. We have to take it week by week.”

The New Hampshire Invitational will take place this Saturday at the University of New Hampshire.

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