The Eli gymnasts continued their dream season Saturday, winning the ECAC gymnastics championship for the first time in team history.
Having already won the Ivy League Championship and set a school scoring record one month earlier, the Bulldogs managed to win the ECAC gymnastics’ championship by just 0.150 points.
The championship was held March 24 in the Newman Arena at Cornell University. The Elis narrowly defeated the competition by scoring 192.975 points — only 0.275 points short of the school record of 193.250 set at Ivies — enough to beat second place William and Mary’s 192.825 and third place James Madison’s 192.450. The University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Cornell and Vermont also competed.
“It was by far our best performance of the year,” captain Lisa Crowley ’01 said. “Everyone was very consistent and aggressive, and no one held back.”
The gymnasts competed in the vault, bars, beam and floor with each team entering six people per event.
The Bulldogs laid the foundation for their title bid with a strong performance in the bars, recording a composite score of 48.675, which was the fourth best score in that event. Andrea Wolf ’03 and Jamie Green ’04 each recorded an average score of 9.775. The worst individual average score was discounted.
The squad followed up its performance in the bars with a second place 47.600 aggregate on the beam, falling short of William and Mary’s 48.200. Green led the Bulldogs again with a score of 9.750.
The Elis had their highest combined event score of the day with a second place 48.950 in the floor event, with Green again earning the top team score with a 9.900. Yale’s and Green’s scores were only topped by James Madison’s 48.975 and Penn’s Anna Wilson, who posted a near perfect 9.975.
Finishing up in the vault, the Bulldogs solidified their title aspirations with a strong 47.750 score — second only to William and Mary’s 47.925. Green not only had the leading score for the Bulldogs in the vault, but also the entire field, leaping into first with a 9.75.
“I could not have been happier about my performance,” Green said. “I was able to keep my nerves calm in order to make all of my routines, especially beam, which had been causing some trouble for many of us throughout the year.”
But trouble and flawed routines was something the Elis did not have to worry about very much Saturday.
“It was a great competition for the girls,” head coach Barbara Tonry said. “It was really outstanding how they made so very few errors. All the girls had incredible meets. Jamie had one of the best meets of her Yale career.”
The Bulldog gymnasts also stood out in the all-around competition, which is comprised of those competitors who take part in all four events. Green again finished second to Penn’s Wilson, scoring a 39.175 to Wilson’s 39.225. Wolf and Jen Gold ’03 also performed strongly, posting scores of 38.500 and 38.250, respectively.
Adding to the Bulldogs honors was assistant coach Jared Cassidy, who was named ECAC Assistant Coach of the Year.
Although the team did not qualify for the NCAA Regionals, narrowly missing out by 0.900 points, three individuals from the all-around — Wolf, Green and Gold — will travel to the regionals April 7.
The NCAA Regionals will consist of seven teams, three of which — Stanford, Michigan and Louisiana State University –Êare in the top 18 in the country.
“Regionals will be tough, since you have to usually win as an individual in order to get to nationals,” Wolf said. “It will be especially difficult, considering Stanford and Michigan carry Olympic gymnasts, but it should be a great experience — one I’m really looking forward to.”
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