Gymnastics team members Jennifer Gold ’03, Andrea Wolf ’03 and Jamie Green ’04 knew they had to battle tough competition Saturday at the NCAA Northeast Regionals in Ann Arbor, Mich. They did not, however, expect to battle the weather.
Despite arriving at the NCAAs nearly 24 hours late, spending the night in Chicago instead of Ann Arbor, and barely making it to their scheduled practice on time, the three Eli representatives managed to post solid performances Saturday.
Green was Yale’s top all-around performer with a score of 38.000, ranking her 12th out of 16 in the all-around standings. Green posted a 9.725 in the floor exercise, placing her 19th of 42 in the event. Gold posted Yale’s best performance in the uneven bars, posting a 9.675 that earned her 25th of 41. Wolf’s 9.600 in the vault was tops among the Eli competitors and placed her 27th out of 41.
Each of the Eli representatives competed in every event — the vault, bars, beam and floor exercise. In addition to her strong floor exercise, Green’s score of 9.400 placed her 39th out of 41 in the vault, her 9.625 on the bars placed her 30th out of 41, and her 9.250 on the beam was 33rd out of 42. All tolled, Green was the top Bulldog with 38.000 points.
Gold finished 41st out of 41 in the vault with a score of 9.275, 36th out of 42 on the beam with a score of 9.125, and 24th out of 42 in the floor exercise with a score of 9.650. Combined with her 9.675 in the bars, Gold scored a total of 37.725 points, placing her 14th out of 16 in the all-around.
Wolf scored 9.525 points on the bars, earning her 31st out of 41, 8.550 points in the beam, placing her 41st out of 42, and 9.400 in the floor routine, placing her 36th out of 42. Her total of 37.075 points placed her 15th out of 16 in the all-around.
Wolf was disappointed with the results.
“This was by far not one of my strongest performances,” Wolf said.
Head coach Barbara Tonry said the weather problems hindered the Bulldogs’ performance.
“Because of the extensive delay, they didn’t get as much rest as I would have liked them to,” Tonry said.
All things considered, however, Tonry was pleased.
“They did very well, especially when you consider the excellent company they were in,” she said.
Another challenge the Bulldogs faced was having to join other teams — meaning they had to compete without the support of their fellow Elis. Since Yale did not attend the tournament as a team, but rather as three individual gymnasts, each performer was added to one of the participating teams — Gold to Michigan, Wolf to Rhode Island, and Green to Stanford.
But Gold said that joining the Wolverine roster was not a factor.
“The Michigan gymnasts were really nice and supportive, so that was not really an issue,” Gold said.
There was the question about how motivated the Bulldogs would be for each event without any teammates to provide moral support, but Gold also dismissed that issue.
“The level of competition was motivation enough because we just wanted to go out there and show that we deserved to be there among the best,” Gold said.
Despite mixed results and problems with Mother Nature, the Bulldogs enjoyed their experience at NCAAs.
“It was awesome that I was able to be there with two of my teammates,” Gold said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Wolf echoed those sentiments, adding that the experience meant a lot to her.
“It was an honor just to be there and to have qualified,” Wolf said.
Gold said her experience has pushed her to work harder for next season.
“I am motivated to work hard this summer,” Gold said. “I want to upgrade my routines and get better for next year.”
The Bulldogs will look to build upon this experience for next season. They hope the whole team will qualify for the competition in 2002, after narrowly missing this year.
“Our team is well in contention for being there next season,” said Wolf. “We know we can do it and we need to make that our goal next year.”