On March 22, the Yale women’s gymnastics team traveled to Philadelphia to compete in the 75th ECAC championships. William & Mary and Brown tied to take the title, each recording a total score of 193.600, followed by Cornell (192.350), Temple (191.775), Penn (191.275) and Yale (189.950). The Elis performed best on their beam, floor and vault routines, but came in last on the beam.
“We had some great moments at ECACs. We hit a strong floor and vault lineup,” Brittney Sooksengdao ’16 said. “As a whole ECACs didn’t go exactly how we wanted them to go. We made some mistakes and it wasn’t our best. But we are proud to have pushed through a lot of setbacks.”
Morgan Traina ’15 performed best for the Bulldogs on the bars with a score of 9.775 — enough to tie her for third in the event. Traina duplicated that score on the beam, earning her a spot in second place on the apparatus. At the end of the meet, Traina found herself in fifth place in the all-around with a score of 38.675. She was the only competitor to finish in the top seven places who was not a member of the two title winning teams — Brown and William & Mary.
Joyce Li ’15 also performed well for the Elis, earning a 9.075 on the vault, 9.175 on the bars, 9.175 on the beam and 9.525 on the floor. Li’s all-around score of 36.950 put her in the 11th overall spot in the all-around as Yale’s only other competitor to place.
On the vault, Camilla Opperman ’16 stuck Yale’s top score of 9.650 that put her in a tie for sixth place in the event.
The Bulldogs fought injuries and sickness throughout the year and cite their resilience as one of their accomplishments throughout the season.
“We didn’t reach all of our goals as a team this season,” captain Ashley O’Connor ’14 said. “Unfortunately, we were plagued with many setbacks such season-ending injuries. So, what we were able to accomplish even with those setbacks was positive. Every single person that could stepped up and put in even more effort and hard work to make up for this. I fully expect this team to win the Ivy League championship next year.”
Both O’Connor and Tabitha Tay ’14 ended their Yale careers at ECACs.
After this season’s second place finish at Ivy’s — an accomplishment that both Sooksengdao and O’Connor listed as a season highlight — the Bulldogs are looking to their younger talent to help them take first place next year.
Many Bulldogs may be headed to USA Gymnastics nationals for individual events, and Sooksengdao said Traina might be an all-around alternate for NCAA regionals.
NCAA regionals take place on April 5 and USAG Collegiate Nationals will be held on April 12.