GYMNASTICS | Balance beam struggles continue

One week after soaring past Yale by 2.825 points en route to an Ivy championship, Brown finished only 0.925 ahead of the Elis on Saturday.
One week after soaring past Yale by 2.825 points en route to an Ivy championship, Brown finished only 0.925 ahead of the Elis on Saturday. Photo by Philipp Arndt.

After a disappointing finish at the Ivy Classic two weeks ago, the gymnastics team traveled on the road to participate in the New Hampshire Invitational this Saturday. Despite several strong individual performances, Yale finished last in the field for a second straight meet.

With a score of 190.925, the Bulldogs placed fourth, 0.925 behind newly crowned Ivy champion Brown, which finished in third. The University of New Hampshire came out on top, scoring 194.850 points, while Towson finished second, only 0.175 points behind the hosts.

Joyce Li ’15 and Tara Feld ’13 led the Bulldogs in individual events, both coming in fourth in the all-around with identical scores of 38.125.

The Elis dominated the uneven parallel bars. Li earned a career-high score of 9.800 in the event, coming in fifth, with teammates Morgan Traina ’15 and Lindsey Andsager ’13 finishing right behind her at 9.775. Feld also finished fifth on the vault, scoring 9.775 points. Despite their strong performances on floor, vault and bars, the Bulldogs continued to struggle on the balance beam, falling three times in the first event of the meet.

Li said that the difficult start on the beam made the rest of the meet challenging for the Elis. Captain Stephanie Goldstein ’13 added that it was frustrating not to hit all four events.

“It’s kind of what happened at the Ivy Classic,” she added. Two weeks ago, the Bulldogs faltered on beam as well en route to a fourth-place finish.

Head coach Barbara Tonry attributed her team’s poor performance to nerves and noted that the Bulldogs needed to compete like they practiced.

She added that the Elis’ goal has been to perform well on all four events during one meet and she believes it is within their reach.

“They’re really going to be surprised by the kind of score they can put up,” Tonry said.

After the tough start on the balance beam, the Bulldogs settled down and put up strong numbers on the remaining three events. Goldstein finished 11th on floor to complement her teammates’ efforts on the bars and vault.

Tonry noted that many of the players were dealing with illness and midterm exams this weekend. Despite these obstacles, the Elis continued to come in and work hard in practice every day.

“That’s what I love about them,” Tonry said. “They’ve got tons of heart.”

Still, she added that two consecutive last place finishes means the team has a lot of work left to do.

Goldstein echoed her coach’s remarks, adding, “We need to keep plugging.”

Looking forward, the Bulldogs hope to qualify as a team for the ECAC Division I Championships and the United States Gymnastics Collegiate nationals. Since the Bulldogs had another team score above 190 in the NH Invitational, a lower score from earlier in the season was dropped, improving their qualification chances.

A week after Brown beat Yale by 2.825 points in the Ivy Classic, the Bulldogs narrowed the gap between themselves and the Bears.

“We’re capable of beating Brown,” Tonry said. Li added that the team hopes to improve its consistency in the future.

Yale will head down to the University of Maryland this Sunday for meets against the host team and Central Michigan at College Park.

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