Following a season-best performance at its home opener last weekend, the Yale gymnastics team looks to keep the momentum going when Springfield College comes to compete on Saturday.
Last week, the Bulldogs overcame a mediocre start on vault to excel at all six of their bar routines, the majority of which included solid landings. The team total of 48.325 points on bars was a season-high. Anella Anderson ’17 called the bar rotation the highlight of her meet, saying her teammates hit their routines “beautifully.” However, as the Bulldogs gear up for their contest against the Pride, they aim to minimize the small mistakes that added to cumulative deductions to their overall score.
“Going into Springfield, the team is really looking to hit 24 for 24 routines,” Anella Anderson ’17 said. “At our past three meets we made little mistakes, but I know we are capable of putting everything together and having a flawless meet.”
Camilla Opperman ’16 echoed Anderson, adding that the team plans to work on sticking landings over the next week.
However, she and her teammates acknowledged there are still areas other than minimizing mistakes that need work.
“The next couple weeks, we’re working on consistency and making sure everyone is hitting solid and clean routines,” Allison Bushman ’18 said. “We’ve certainly got room to improve. It’s looking very promising.”
In an effort to increase their maximum scores, other gymnasts will take this week as an opportunity to raise the difficulty level of their routines. Brittney Sooksengdao ’16 and Tatiana Winkelman ’17 will be working on upgrades to their beam routines, according to Sooksengdao. Both plan to unveil new elements against Springfield.
Though the team does not set its lineup until Friday, these upgrades could theoretically change the order of competition.
“The lineup is designed so routines build on each other,” said Opperman, who anchors the floor rotation. “We want to start with someone strong and generally follow that with routines that have more difficulty, or people you assume will score higher.”
Captain Morgan Traina ’15 often anchors the other two events — bars and beam — but competes in the vault and floor events as well. However, as she sprained her ankle three days before the Don Tonry Invitational, Traina did not compete on floor last weekend.
Traina said that taking a few days off of tumbling helped the healing process, and although the final decision is up to the coaching staff, she hopes to compete in the all-around this weekend.
Though Yale will be hosting the ECAC Championship in March, this weekend marks the Bulldogs’ last regular-season home meet. According to Sooksengdao, the gymnasts are looking forward to a home-field advantage one last time.
“Being home was great,” Sooksengdao said. “There’s always so much energy. It also meant we had one of the larger crowds.”
Among this crowd were members of the Yale football team.
The football players are in charge of working the meets, according to Anderson, and are responsible for setting up, scoring and cleaning up.
“I don’t know how they were designated this job, but it’s fun to have a bunch of our good friends there,” she said.
Both the football players and the gymnasts will be in Payne Whitney to compete against Springfield on Saturday at 1 p.m.