Courtesy of Yale Athletics

The Bulldogs, especially the new first years, put on an outstanding performance this past weekend at Long Island University, despite some inconsistent routines. 

With a team total of 192.350, the gymnastic team fell just short of the University of New Hampshire and Long Island University, yet they placed first on the floor — possibly one of their strongest events this season. All but one first year out of the five competed this past Sunday and have stepped into a majority of the lineup. 

“This past weekend, I thought floor and vault were our standout events,” said head coach Andrew Leis. “I feel like we have a strong group on the floor this year here, so I feel like it’s going to be one of our better events consistently throughout the season.”

In fact, new collegiate competitor, Ella Tashjian ’27 scored a near-perfect 9.9 on the floor, perfectly executing and landing a double pike, double tuck and a front full front lay and winning the event. The newcomer also performed well on two other events — the vault and the balance beam — a “pretty exciting” feat for a first-time collegiate gymnast, said Leis.

Additionally, after only her second collegiate meet ever, Tashjian was named Gymnastics East Conference Newcomer of the Week yesterday afternoon. The last gymnast to win this accolade on the team was Gigi Sabatini ’26 last season during her first year on the team. 

The former Eli newcomer of the week came second in the all-around in Brooklyn and was Yale’s best vault performer for the second time in a row. 

According to Leis the team had a bit of a “hiccup” on the vault event last weekend at George Washington University, but there were big improvements this week, although they “still have some room to grow” he said. Specifically, just behind Sabatini was Sarah Wilson ’24 with a solid 9.750 on the event. 

The four-inch beam always poses uncertainty for any team, but seniors Wilson and Emma Mangiacapre ’24 performed with elegance, ease and balance, scoring first and second highest for the Bulldogs, respectively. 

The rest of the newcomers also made elegant and powerful strides on Sunday setting a positive tone for the rest of the season. Chloe DeJoy ’27 is now a part of the uneven bars and floor lineup, and is set to exhibit her balance beam routine for the first time this coming weekend. 

Additionally, first years Evangeline Chu ’27 and Lily Aucoin ’27 both debuted new routines on the beam and floor, respectively, this past weekend.

Yale is set to compete in their first home meet of the season in the John J. Lee Amphitheater this coming Sunday against GEC preseason poll first-place team, Penn. 

“It’ll be a great challenge for us,” said Leis. “We’re excited. Anytime we get to go head to head with them, it’s a big meet, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Yale will host the GEC Championships for the first time in the John J. Lee Amphitheater in March.

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.