History was made this past Saturday in the Palestra as Yale’s gymnasts scored the highest team score in program history at the Ivy Classic.

The strong competitive nature of the Ivy League Championship this past weekend propelled the Bulldogs to compete like they have never before, earning a record-breaking 195.400. Their past highest team score was 195.325 in 2018, showing that the smallest tweaks such as a pointed toe versus a flexed one, can make history. The Bulldogs came in 2nd place, behind Penn by 0.400 points and ahead of Cornell and Brown.

“The Ivy Classic is always a fun meet, where everybody’s competitive, especially this year,” head coach Andrew Leis said to the News. “It was a nail-biter pretty much all the way to the end, so we were excited to see the results. And obviously, all that hard work paid off. It was a big moment for us to celebrate because after 51 years of Yale gymnastics, this team [team 51] now has the highest team score in program history.”

The Bulldogs fought for those extra tenths of a point throughout the whole meet, especially on the uneven bars and vault. 

The daunting vault proved to be no challenge for the gymnasts at this meet as they tied their past program record on vault with a 48.8 team score on the event. Powerhouse Ella Tashjian ’27 tied for first in the event with a 9.825.

Leis called the uneven bar rotation a “big momentum swing” in the meet, because they were able to hit all 6 out of 6 bar routines. In fact, they swept the podium on the event, claiming the first, second and fourth place spot on the event with Sarah Wilson ’24, Lily Aucoin ’27 and Sherry Wang’s ’24 routines, respectively. 

Going into their last event of the day, the balance beam, the team knew they were on the way to make history. So, when there was a fall in the middle of their beam line up, the remaining gymnasts in the line-up didn’t budge, landing every skill on those four inches of wood. 

“They did a really good job of keeping their composure and every routine at that point counted,” Leis said. “We had a lot of stuck landings, which, in the end, was the difference maker whether or not we were going to break that record.”

Emma Mangiacapre ’24 was part of the reason the Bulldogs stayed solid on the beam, scoring a whopping 9.825. 

The Bulldogs still have a lot of fire left in them for the rest of the season. Looking forward, Leis said that the team is “still hungry,” especially with some of their biggest competitions on the way. 

Specifically, this weekend the Bulldogs will go against strong competitors, the University of Maryland as well as the University of New Hampshire at home. On their first day back in the gym post-Ivy Classic the gymnasts agreed that for the next four weeks of their season, Leis said they were going to “give 110 percent” to finish off the season “really strong.”

“We’ve known at the start of preseason that this team was special, and we thought that they were capable of putting up a really solid number if they went in and kind of did their job,” Leis said. “So obviously in a big pressure situation, big moment, it was a big accomplishment for them.”

The gymnasts will celebrate the team’s seniors at this weekend’s home meet against Maryland, University of New Hampshire and Southern Connecticut State University on Sunday. 

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.