The Yale gymnastics team finished third in the quad meet hosted by the University of Bridgeport on Sunday, leaving a sense of frustration and regret for its members, who felt they didn’t perform to the best of their ability.
The Bulldogs posted a score of 190.375, narrowly placing behind Brown (190.800), while the Purple Knights highly impressed in their home meet with a score of 193.625. Although, the Elis will take consolation in the fact that they finished well above stragglers Rhode Island College, managing a total of 175.825.
Although the Blue and White made a bright start to its 2020 campaign with a convincing victory in the Springfield quad meet just a week earlier (191.525), the team failed to continue the momentum with another win. The team’s frustration was met with Brown’s superb performance, where the Bears managed to generate a higher total in the Bridgeport meet, despite losing to the Elis during the opening weekend. However, despite this setback, Yalies displayed a number of promising performances that showed signs of the team’s ability to challenge for the Ivy League and ECAC championship this year.
“The meet did not go as well as we had hoped for,” Kendal Toy ’22 said. “But we are getting back into the gym this week to work on our consistency and cleaning up landings in our skills.”
Yale got off to a steady start on floor exercise, with Alyssa Firth ’21, Charlotte Cooperman ’21 and opener Sofia Menemenlis ’20 all scoring 9.550 or higher. Seniors Jade Buford ’20 and Rebecca Chong ’20 followed up with solid performances, both finishing in the top 15 with scores of 9.500 and 9.450, respectively. Jacey Baldovino ’21 managed to clinch a top 20 place and added a 9.350 to the team’s event total.
After the conclusion of floor, the Bulldogs came back strong in the vault event, with all six of the vault lineup finishing in the top 15. Firth and Aimee Titche ’23 performed exceptionally to post career highs of 9.800 and 9.750, respectively, to make it a one-two finish — Firth’s score was the fourth-highest vault score in Yale gymnastics history. Chong managed to record a strong 9.600, while Anna Jennings ’20, Buford and Cooperman posted scores of 9.400 or higher, to push the Bulldogs past the 48.000 mark.
Firth was Yale’s standout performer throughout the meet, posting a career high of 9.700 on beam, in addition to her aforementioned career high in the vault event. She also tied for second in all-around (38.475) and gained a top 10 finish in floor and top 15 placement in bars.
“I was really proud of myself for hitting career highs this past weekend,” Firth said. “I’ve been working really hard in the gym fixing some skills and focusing on small details so it was really rewarding to see how much it has been paying off. I am now more motivated to get back into the gym and try to hit new, higher career highs throughout the season.”
Yale then managed to secure a 47.500 for the highest uneven bars total of the season. Baldovino, in particular, excelled with a score of 9.875 — a career high for the junior. In addition to securing first place in the event, Baldovino achieved the third-highest score spot in Yale gymnastics history. Despite finishing just behind, Buford equally impressed with her own career and season high of 9.825, meriting a third-place finish in the meet. First years Raegan Walker ’23 and Caitlin Henry ’23 achieved scores of 9.175 and 8.900, respectively, while Lindsay Chia ’22 performed a new routine on her bar debut to record a respectable 9.250.
The Elis concluded their meet with a total of 47.150 on beam — their lowest event total of the day. Cooperman achieved the highest scores in the lineup, earning two 9.700s, which was enough for a joint seventh-place finish with Firth. Chia added to her performance on bar, achieving a notable score of 9.400. Emma Firmstone ’20 (9.200), Baldovino (9.150) and Buford (8.900) wrapped up the event for the Bulldogs to eventually achieve a third-place finish overall in the Bridgeport meet.
“Going into our first home meet, the team is focused on trusting our training,” Anna Jennings ’20 said. “We have been working extremely hard, putting numbers in and gaining confidence. We aim to focus on doing the routines we know we are capable of and supporting each other in the process.”
The Bulldogs will host their first meet of the season this Saturday, competing against Rhode Island College in New Haven.
Syimyk Kyshtoobaev | firstname.lastname@example.org