Yale Athletics

Yale gymnasts earned a hard-fought win against Brown University this past weekend after a loss against Long Island University at the beginning of the season.

Jan. 8 marked the opening of the gymnastics season, with Yale losing to LIU even as Sarah Wilson ’24 won the individual all-around award. Yale improved on their performance the following weekend, beating Brown at home in the John J. Lee Amphitheater by just shy of a full point.

“The team has been working really hard in the gym, and we made some big strides from our first meet,” said head coach Andrew Leis. “The exciting part for our team is that there is still so much more potential to improve going into this weekend as we get more consistent and confident with our routines.”

At LIU, Wilson scored the highest for her team on the uneven bars and continued her success on the vault, nailing the landing. Fellow teammate Raegan Walker ’23 also dominated the latter event, scoring a 9.625. 

The first meet of the season also saw first-year Hana Strause ’26 make her debut on the competition floor. She earned the third highest score in the vault with a double twisting layout to a front tuck.

Sherry Wang ’24 performed her signature dismount, a full-twisting double back, off the uneven bars, scoring highly as well. 

But at LIU, the team also suffered from three falls on the floor exercise.

“Heading into the heat of the season, we’re looking to build off how we’ve started, consistency with routines and starting to clean up skills,” Wang said. 

One of the team’s big mottos this year is “1 percent better every day,” according to Wang. Overall, the team aims to focus on the little improvements that will add up in the long run. 

The gymnasts had a chance to be cheered on at home during their match-up with Brown, where their hard work paid off. 

“It was nice being in front of our fans and home crowd. We definitely felt the energy!” said Leis.

Walker secured the overall win on the balance beam, and Wilson stood out once again with an impressive all-around score of 38.050. The Bulldogs shined on the vault, with all gymnasts scoring above a 9.5. The first years continued to make an impression as Gigi Sabatini ’26 scored the highest on vault for the team and second-highest in the entire meet.

According to Leis, “[the team’s] goal every weekend is to hit 24 for 24 routines. If we do that, the result will be what we want. With a few meets under our belt, I know this team will start to fine-tune all the little details that can make us great.”

The team is traveling down South this weekend to the University of North Carolina to compete against the Tar Heels and University of Wisconsin-Stout. Wang told the News that she is excited to compete against these bigger teams and “feed off the energy” of the three future home meets the Bulldogs have in their schedule. 

Leis wants the team to show “how great they can be” and how their “potential is limitless,” he said. He is confident their hard work in the preseason will pay off in the long run during the more crucial meets later on in the season. 

The Bulldogs will face UNC on Jan. 23. Fans can watch along on ESPN+.

Paloma Vigil is the Arts Editor for the Yale Daily News. She previously served as a DEI co-chair and staff reporter for the University and Sports desks. Past coverage includes religious life, Yale College Council, sailing and gymnastics. Originally from Miami, she is a junior in Pauli Murray College majoring in Psychology and Political Science.