Heading into the season, many Eli gymnasts believed their team was the most talented squad in school history. While individual and team scores have reflected Yale’s skill, victories have not come as easily as expected.

After five meets, the Bulldogs boast a 3-2 record in head-to-head competitions, but have suffered two agonizing defeats.

The gymnasts opened their season with impressive wins over SUNY Cortland and Springfield College. But the next week, Massachusetts beat the Elis by less than one tenth of a point. Two weeks later, Yale fell again by under one point to Rhode Island.

In between those losses was Yale’s most impressive victory of the season, a 190.725-139.750 trouncing of Ivy rival Pennsylvania. That win put Yale on a clear course to defend its Ivy League title.

But this past weekend, Yale finished a disappointing fourth out of five teams at the URI Invitational and behind Brown. The Bears are the surprise team in the league this season and could pose a serious challenge to the Elis’ title hopes at the Ivy Classic on Feb. 24. Brown will benefit from hosting the meet in Providence, much like the Bulldogs did last season.

Kathryn Fong ’05 and Jamie Green ’04 have sparked the team this season, along with veterans Andrea Wolff ’03, Shoshanna Engel ’03 and captain Caroline Pignatelli ’02. Green, Wolff and Engel are all school record holders, and this year’s crop of Bulldogs certainly has the potential to reach new heights in Yale gymnastics’ history.

Yale will need to find a way to win close meets if it wants to stay on course to achieve it’s preseason goals of repeating as Ancient Eight champs and challenging for the ECAC title it was so close to winning last year.

Given the talent and flashes of brilliance demonstrated thus far, the Bulldogs should be able to fend off Brown and Penn challenges at the Ivy Classic and could find themselves rewriting the record books.