Gymnasts spring into ’14

While most Yale students neglected their fitness routines over the holidays, Yale’s gymnastics team was busy gearing up for its 2014 season.

The team opened the season this past Sunday at the New Hampshire Invitational. The Bulldogs competed against the University of Minnesota, the University of New Hampshire and Brown, finishing fourth with a final score of 187.500.

Though the team still has room for improvement, the competition showcased some of the gymnasts’ solid routines. All six Yale competitors successfully made their vaults, Morgan Traina ’15 and Brianna Chrisman ’15 scored a 9.75 and a 9.65, respectively, on the bars and Camilla Opperman ’16 and Traina both scored a 9.7 on their floor routines.

Team captain Ashley O’Connor ’14 said she is optimistic about the season to come, especially because of the team’s supportive yet disciplined group dynamic.

“There is a great attitude from everyone in the gym going in every day and giving it their all because they know that for this team to succeed everyone has to completely devote themselves,” she said. “That’s our team’s strategy and that’s what gives us the desire to compete.”

The competition marked the collegiate debut of freshmen Anella Anderson ’17 and Tatiana Winkelman ’17, as well as for sophomore Camilla Opperman ’16, who did not compete last year due to an injury.

Winkelman said that while this first competition highlighted where the team needs to improve, she is confident that the Elis will reach their goals for the season.

“The meet went well especially for the first competition of the year,” she said. “The point was to get back into the swing of competition.”

One of the areas in which the Elis will need to improve is in their floor routines. The Bulldogs turned in their lowest team score in any of the four events, posting a 46.375. Minnesota, on the other hand, scored a 49.375 to seal its victory in the meet.

Opperman agreed that although the meet was a promising start to the season, it also outlined what skills the team needs to continue to practice.

“Our meet this weekend was a good starting point for us, but there’s definitely a ton of room for improvement,” she wrote in a Wednesday email to the News. “There is a lot of amazing potential on this team, and I think that with continued hard work, great things can happen for Yale gymnastics this season!”

The team will next compete at home against Penn Jan. 25.

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