Yale Gymnastics will springboard into the Ivy League Championships this weekend on the heels of another season-high score.
The Bulldogs crushed Southern Connecticut State University, 190.825–187.9 on senior night, their last home meet of the season, Saturday. The overall score was the highest the team has managed all season. That peak is well timed as the Elis head into Ivy championships this weekend. Morgan Traina ’15 and Joyce Li ’15 continued their exceptional performances all around and placed first and second for the meet with scores of 38.575 and 38.350 respectively.
“[The meet was] just the boost of confidence we need to win at Ivies next week,” said Mia Yabut ‘12, the team captain.
The Elis hope to score even better at Ivy League Championships next weekend. Although pleased with the continued improvement, the team fell just shy of its goal to score 191 points, head coach Barbara Tonry said. The team has broken 190 points a few times this season, but has yet to reach 191. One fewer bobble, step or fall would have placed the team over the 191 mark, she added. Even so, the team members fell fewer times than normal.
On vault, the Bulldogs counted no falls towards its score. Led by Tara Feld ’13, who scored a 9.700 for her Yurchenko full, Yale scored a 47.375 for the event. Yabut, who was unable to compete in the beginning of the season due to an injury, came in close behind with a vault score of 9.650, her personal best and second place in the meet. Yabut was the only teammate to compete a Yurchenko half, a trick just a bit less difficult than the Yurchenko full because it involves only a half twist during the layout coming off the vault. The senior captain said she was happy to finish her last home meet on a high note.
“I’m proud of the way it ended for me at home.” Yabut said.
The Bulldogs stayed tough on bars and scored the most points, 48.350, in this event. Lindsay Andsager ’13, once again, showed why she is a bars specialist. Andasager performed a Shaposh — a release trick in which the gymnast flings herself from the low to the high bar while upside down — and stuck a double tuck dismount, a routine which earned her a 9.8000 and first place in the event.
“[Andsager] works bars with elegance” Tonry said.
Ansager’s performance was far from the only highlight on the uneven bars. Morgan Traina ’15 was close behind Andsager with a 9.775. She finished her routine with a stuck double tuck dismount. Joyce Li ’15 also posted a strong score of 9.725. The trio of Andsager, Traina and Li took first, second and fourth respectively.
Although beam contained some falls, and one that counted to the team’s score, the event was not riddled with the usual number of mistakes.
“Our beam performance as a team definitely improved from last week,” Traina said in an email, “so it seems like the extra routines in practice are paying off.”
The dynamic freshman duo of Traina (9.775) and Li (9.725) led the team on beam with a 1.2 finish.
Feld (9.825) and Stephanie Goldstein ’13 (9.700) finished in first and second place. Feld began her routine with a double pike, ended it with a double tuck, and made few errors in between.
Yale intends to take the momentum from this meet and channel it towards Ivy League Championships. “The team morale is very high leading into Ivies,” Traina said. “We are confident that if we hit our routines the way we have in practice, we have the potential to win.”
The key is to hit 24 out of 24 routines, Tonry said, and with continued confidence, a meet without falls is within reach.
The Ivy League Championships will take place on Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. in Ithaca, N.Y.