GYMNASTICS: Yale gymnasts to face Penn with Chia and Walker on hot streak
The Eli gymnastics team began its season on Jan. 9 and has seen marked improvement in preparation for their first Ivy meet against Penn.
The Yale Gymnastics team opened their season with a third place finish at their first meet, followed by a loss against Penn State at their second. But in their most recent meet against LIU, the team scored their highest team total of the season and enjoyed individual victories by Lindsay Chia, Reagan Walker and Sherry Wang, among others.
In their first meet of the season, the Bulldogs placed third at Yale’s Lee Amphitheater with a total team score of 190.800. In addition, Lindsay Chia ’22 won the all-around with a score of 39.075, the highest such score of her career.
The team suffered from two falls on vault, but Reagan Walker ’23 helped them come back with a near-perfect Yurchenko half (9.775). Chia competed the most difficult vault of the rotation, a full-twisting Yurchenko (9.750). Furthermore, the uneven bars was the team’s highest rotation score of the meet in which the seam secured 48.875 points.
In an interview with Yale Athletics, interim head coach Andrew Leis said that “after having almost two years off from competition, [the team] got off to an amazing start to the season with some big routines today.”
On Friday, Jan. 14, the team was up against Penn State, ranked 27th in the NCAA, and put up a strong fight with a team score of 190.650. Chia won the all-around for the second time this season with a 38.725 all-around score.
Chia was named Gymnastics East Conference gymnast of the week, and she told the News that this title “allows [her] to help push others to work harder every day in the gym.”
Additionally, Chia told the News that competitions against stronger teams such as Penn State allow herself and her teammates to focus on honing their skills on the competition floor without thinking too much about their competitors.
After his team’s loss against Penn State, Leis told Yale Athletics that the team “has so much potential and is just getting started.”
Team captain Seina Cho ’22 told the News that the team has been “focusing on building consistency and polishing up routines.” Cho expressed how proud she was of her team and how excited they all were to compete this season after multiple mock meets in the preseason.
In Brookeville, New York, the Yale gymnastics team faced LIU for their third competition of the season. Although they narrowly lost, Walker ’23, Wang ’24, and Wilson ’24 all succeeded in earning individual wins. In addition, Wilson won the first all-around meet of her career (38.875), with Chia finishing a close second (38.425).
Overall, the Bulldogs scored a team score of 193.875, just less than a point difference from the Sharks, who scored 194.200.
Coach Leis emphasized that the team score has improved by three points from their last meet against Penn State, giving the team a “huge confidence booster” before facing Penn next weekend.
Penn recently broke their own vault record in the program’s history with a score of 48.9 in the event at the New Hampshire tri-meet this past weekend. According to the preseason rankings by the GEC, Penn is highly favored to dominate the conference this season, Penn will face Yale this Sunday, Jan. 30, at 1 p.m.
Chia feels like the team has been consistently improving at each meet and is “excited” to see how the team is pushed to their best performance against the Quakers.
Yale Gymnastics will face Penn this Sunday, Jan. 30, at 1 p.m. in the Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania.