Tag Archive: Gymnastics

  1. GYMNASTICS | Elis finish last in ECAC

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    The gymnastics team scored high, but placed low at the ECAC Championships.

    The ECAC Championships, hosted at Penn last Saturday, was the Bulldogs’ last meet of the season. The team placed seventh, with a score of 191.45, finishing 2.95 points behind Penn, the top ranked team at the meet. This was a season-high score for the Elis, and the highest the team has earned in four years. The Bulldogs counted no falls towards their overall score.

    “The standings mean nothing to us,” said Mia Yabut ’12 the captain of the team, “It’s not even a mixed bag for us, it was a good way to end.”

    Although Yale placed last at ECAC’s, the season as a whole was an improvement from last year. Head coach Barbary Tonry said the team posted consistently higher scores throughout the season, and team members Yabut and Tara Feld ’13 said they are enthusiastic about these advances.

    “Yale gymnastics is on an upward trend,” Feld said.

    The final meet of the season began, for Yale, on beam. Maren Hopkins ’14 was the first competitor of the day, and performed her routine without a mistake and earned a 9.425. Yabut said this “set the tone for the entire meet.”

    Yale went on to have only one routine with a fall on this event, which did not count towards the team score, and several standout performances. Stephanie Goldstein ’13 and Joyce Li ’15 were Yale’s top two finishers on the event, scoring a 9.65 and 9.725 and placing 11th and sixth respectively.

    Scoring on the next event, floor, caused some raised eyebrows from members of the team. The team scored a total of 47.325 points for the event, which is lower than 47.780, the Elis’ average score on floor this year, even though nobody on the team fell.

    “We don’t feel that our score or our placement reflects the way the team performed,” Feld said.

    Feld was the highest scorer on the event for the Bulldogs with a 9.600, whereas Feld’s average score for floor is 9.745. A highlight of the event was Goldstein’s routine, which contained different tumbling than she usually competes, including a double pike in her first tumbling pass and a double back tuck in her third pass. The routine earned her a 9.575.

    The Bulldogs finished strong on vault and bars. Yabut, who competed a laid-out Yurchenko half and earned Yale’s top vault score of 9.675, said the Elis looked “powerful” on vault.

    “I’m still not sure sure why our scores were so low, but they did a good job,” Tonry said.

    Bars for the Bulldogs, who struggled with consistency this season, earned the team its highest event score of 48.325. The top competitor for Yale was, once again, Lindsay Andsager ’13, who scored a 9.725. After struggling on bars in recent meets, this rotation was a great way to end the meet and the season, Feld said.

    Yale gymnastics has its sights set on next year. The team hopes to gain four new freshman, and loses only two seniors. Tonry added that the team should be stronger next year.

    As for Yabut, the end of her gymnastics career is still a bit “surreal,” she said.

    “If I was going to end this is the best way I could have done it,” Yabut said.

    At ECAC Championships, Goldstein, a molecular, cellular and developmental biology major, won the ECAC Scholar-Athlete Award. Morgan Traina ’15 was named ECAC Rookie of the Year.

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  2. GYMNASTICS | Elis strive for consistency

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    Spring break was a roller-coaster ride for the Yale gymnastics team.

    The Bulldogs competed for three consecutive weeks over the break with mixed results. Their first meet, held at Towson University against Towson and William and Mary on March 2, was a disappointment both in terms of their score (187.950) and their last-place finish. The team then bounced back at the George Washington Invitational six days later with a season-high score of 191.175. The third meet of the break, a quad meet on March 16 at Towson with the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington University, was a mixed bag for the Elis. A disastrous beam rotation dragged down their score, while strong rotations on vault, bars and floor left the team hopeful for the upcoming ECAC Championship.

    “We know what we need to do on beam, and if we do that we’ll have a really great team score [at ECACs],” Tara Feld ’13 said.

    Lindsay Andsager ’13 said the team’s meet against Towson and William and Mary was its “worst meet of the season.” She added that the team’s performance was “unfortunate” this late in the season when it should be improving. The team had falls on both beam and bars, with scores of 46.425 and 46.175, respectively, its two lowest events of the meet.

    The highlight of the meet for Yale was a flawless floor exercise. The team scored a 48.250, its highest mark of the competition. Feld was Yale’s top scorer on floor with a 9.75, good enough for sixth on the event. Andsager’s bar routine was another bright spot for the Bulldogs, scoring a 9.7. Joyce Li ’15 was the top all-around scorer for Yale; she placed fifth with a score of 38.425.

    After a tough week of practice, the team turned it around at the George Washington Invitational. Not only was the meet encouraging because the team posted a new season high score, but the team also exhibited consistency, particularly in the first three events. On bars, beam and floor, the team counted no falls toward its overall score.

    Vault was especially strong for the Bulldogs. The team’s score of 47.900 was its highest of the season. Yale’s top three finishers on vault, Feld, Li and Stephanie Goldstein ’13, all scored above a 9.5.

    Beam posed the biggest problems for the Bulldogs. After an unblemished meet, the team was forced to swallow two falls in their team score. Without those falls, “we would have been neck and neck with George Washington,” Andsager said. Despite its low points, Yale had two strong performances. The top two Yale finishers of the event were Morgan Traina ’15 and Feld, who scored impressive figures of 9.8 and 9.775, respectively.

    The Bulldogs performed well individually, a fact demonstrated in the all-around results: Traina (38.575), Feld (38.35) and Li (38.35) swept the top three spots.

    “When it came to the podium and awards, we swept most of the events,” team captain Mia Yabut ’12 said.

    The Elis’ second trip to Towson last weekend proved better than their first, but it still did not live up to their full potential. The score of 189.325 was the product of three strong events, and one severely below par. Beam was the event on which the team struggled the most, as evidenced by a low score of 46.200. The event was riddled with falls.

    “The first person hit her routine, and after that everybody fell on something,” Feld said, adding that she hopes the team has the falls “out of their systems” and will be more consistent next weekend at ECACs.

    The other three events — vault, bars and floor — were successful for the Bulldogs. They scored 47.825 on vault, 47.275 on bars and, in another impressive floor display, 48.025. Individual highlights included Yabut, who scored a 9.775 on vault, which placed her in a five-way tie for fifth on the event. Andsager continued her domination on bars with the team’s top score of 9.675. The team’s top all-around finisher was Feld, who placed third with a 38.4.

    Yale’s next gymnastics meet, the ECAC Championship, will take place March 24 in Philadelphia at noon.

  3. GYMNASTICS | Bulldogs fall to fourth

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    A fourth-place finish is not what the Yale gymnastics team had in mind heading into last weekend’s competition.

    The Bulldogs failed to capture the Ivy League title last Sunday at the Ivy League Championships hosted by Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. Mistakes on bars caused the team to place fourth with a score of 190.725, behind Penn (192.65), Cornell (191.875) and Brown (191.075). The standout individual of the meet was Morgan Traina ’15, who placed third all-around and first on beam.

    “No one really said anything [after the meet],” Mia Yabut ’12, the team captain said, “We all knew how everyone was feeling and how disappointed we were.”

    The team goal since the beginning of the season was to win Ivy League Championships, so their lack of improvement upon last year’s results was a letdown. But despite their lack of movement in the standings, the two-point difference between first and fourth was much closer this year than last year’s 6.4-point spread. The small margin meant the Bulldogs would have been competitive for the title if they had they minimized their mistakes, Yabut said.

    The first event, vault, was well executed, with Tara Feld ’13 leading the squad with a 9.750. Tabitha Tay ’14 was asked to compete on vault only minutes before the competition began, when teammate Brianna Chrisman ’15 hurt her knee in warmups. Feld said it is difficult mentally to make the switch from not competing to competing in a matter of minutes, but she made the switch successfully, contributing a solid 9.375 to the team’s score.

    Bars was the biggest disappointment of the day, even though it has been the team’s strongest event for the past couple of meets. Last weekend, however, it was the team’s worst event, as the Elis finished with a score of 46.850. Two falls were counted against the team’s overall bars score. Those mistakes, levied on skills ranging from release moves to dismounts and pirouettes, proved too great for the team to overcome. Team members said they were unsure what caused the problems on bars: Traina said the team had been performing strong bar routines both in practice and in competition — so Sunday may just have been an uncharacteristically bad day for the team, she added.

    The Elis were able to put their bars performance behind them and rally on beam. The team posted its highest score of the season on beam (48.125) and only counted one fall toward its team score. With a back handspring layout step out series and a side aerial, Traina took first place on beam with a 9.825, her highest score ever.

    “I’m proud of how everybody handled the rest of the meet,” Feld said. “We kept our spirits up throughout the meet, which is a big deal.”

    The team finished the meet with a good floor rotation, but it was not enough to move the team out of fourth place. Top Eli finishers on the floor event were Stephanie Goldstein ’13 (9.725), Joyce Li ’15 (9.675) and Feld (9.650).

    The team now has its sights set on the ECAC meet, which is a championship meet that includes all Ivy League teams and a few other schools such as Towson University and Temple. The ECAC meet is slightly more important than the Ivy League Championships because teams as well as individuals have the opportunity to qualify for NCAA regionals, Traina said. Also, since all the Ivy League teams will be at ECAC’s, Feld said it is the team’s chance for redemption.

    The team’s next meet is on March 2, against Towson and William and Mary, at Towson.

  4. GYMNASTICS | Elis hit season high

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    Yale Gymnastics will springboard into the Ivy League Championships this weekend on the heels of another season-high score.

    The Bulldogs crushed Southern Connecticut State University, 190.825–187.9 on senior night, their last home meet of the season, Saturday. The overall score was the highest the team has managed all season. That peak is well timed as the Elis head into Ivy championships this weekend. Morgan Traina ’15 and Joyce Li ’15 continued their exceptional performances all around and placed first and second for the meet with scores of 38.575 and 38.350 respectively.

    “[The meet was] just the boost of confidence we need to win at Ivies next week,” said Mia Yabut ‘12, the team captain.

    The Elis hope to score even better at Ivy League Championships next weekend. Although pleased with the continued improvement, the team fell just shy of its goal to score 191 points, head coach Barbara Tonry said. The team has broken 190 points a few times this season, but has yet to reach 191. One fewer bobble, step or fall would have placed the team over the 191 mark, she added. Even so, the team members fell fewer times than normal.

    On vault, the Bulldogs counted no falls towards its score. Led by Tara Feld ’13, who scored a 9.700 for her Yurchenko full, Yale scored a 47.375 for the event. Yabut, who was unable to compete in the beginning of the season due to an injury, came in close behind with a vault score of 9.650, her personal best and second place in the meet. Yabut was the only teammate to compete a Yurchenko half, a trick just a bit less difficult than the Yurchenko full because it involves only a half twist during the layout coming off the vault. The senior captain said she was happy to finish her last home meet on a high note.

    “I’m proud of the way it ended for me at home.” Yabut said.

    The Bulldogs stayed tough on bars and scored the most points, 48.350, in this event. Lindsay Andsager ’13, once again, showed why she is a bars specialist. Andasager performed a Shaposh — a release trick in which the gymnast flings herself from the low to the high bar while upside down ­— and stuck a double tuck dismount, a routine which earned her a 9.8000 and first place in the event.

    “[Andsager] works bars with elegance” Tonry said.

    Ansager’s performance was far from the only highlight on the uneven bars. Morgan Traina ’15 was close behind Andsager with a 9.775. She finished her routine with a stuck double tuck dismount. Joyce Li ’15 also posted a strong score of 9.725. The trio of Andsager, Traina and Li took first, second and fourth respectively.

    Although beam contained some falls, and one that counted to the team’s score, the event was not riddled with the usual number of mistakes.

    “Our beam performance as a team definitely improved from last week,” Traina said in an email, “so it seems like the extra routines in practice are paying off.”

    The dynamic freshman duo of Traina (9.775) and Li (9.725) led the team on beam with a 1.2 finish.

    Feld (9.825) and Stephanie Goldstein ’13 (9.700) finished in first and second place. Feld began her routine with a double pike, ended it with a double tuck, and made few errors in between.

    Yale intends to take the momentum from this meet and channel it towards Ivy League Championships. “The team morale is very high leading into Ivies,” Traina said. “We are confident that if we hit our routines the way we have in practice, we have the potential to win.”

    The key is to hit 24 out of 24 routines, Tonry said, and with continued confidence, a meet without falls is within reach.

    The Ivy League Championships will take place on Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. in Ithaca, N.Y.

  5. GYMNASTICS | Yale achieves highest score yet

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    It keeps getting better and better for the gymnastics team.

    Yale scored 190.4 points in its home meet on Saturday, which marks its highest score of the season. It was good enough to beat Springfield College (185.625) and Rhode Island University (170.7), but not to defeat Bridgeport (193.075). The Elis had strong individual performances fueling its end result. Tara Feld ’13 placed second in the all-around competition, and Morgan Traina ’15 took third.

    “I think it’s great that we’re continuing to get better at each meet,” Traina said in an email to the News, “and I know that we can do even more in the meets to come.”

    Since the team is focused on its goal of winning the Ivy League Championship, the loss to Bridgeport is not as significant as the team’s improved score, team captain Mia Yabut ’12 said.

    “At this point we’re just thinking about our [team’s] individual performance,” said Yabut.

    Feld added that Bridgeport’s level of competition only helped the Bulldogs compete at their highest level.

    Vault was a strong start for the Elis. Yale’s two twisting vaults delivered the highest scores for the Bulldogs. Feld, who competed a Yurchenko full, scored a 9.725, and Traina, who competed a Yurckenko tuck full, scored a 9.500. Feld’s score placed her fourth in the event, a solid start to another solid meet for her.

    Bars was a dynamic event for the Bulldogs.

    “Bars was the best I’ve ever seen,” said Yabut, who, as a senior, has seen Yale compete for four years. The Elis stuck dismount after dismount. Traina stuck her double back tuck, Nicole Tay ’14 stuck her double layout, and Lindsay Andsager ’13 stuck her double tuck dismount. Each salute was met by a smile from the judge, who awarded the Bulldogs the points they deserved. Yale took first, second and third place on bars with Andsager (9.850), Tay (9.775) and Traina (9.750). The total team score on bars was 48.650, which surpassed the team’s goal of scoring 48 on each event.

    The Bulldogs’ next event was beam. Beam is the smallest gymnastics apparatus, but it has caused the biggest problems for Yale this season. This meet was no exception. The team was forced to count two falls in its team score, plummeting its team score on beam to 46.625 and making it the Elis’ lowest-scoring event of the day.

    “I think part of the issue is a lack of confidence on some of the routines,” Feld said. “We need to focus on confidence as a team in general,” she added. As a result, Yabut said the team is expected to work on beam during this week of practice.

    Yale’s floor routines had a couple of mistakes, but they were much better than last week’s routines as the team scored a respectable 47.850 points. Feld topped the charts. Her sky-high tumbling placed her in second with a score of 9.775. Feld’s finish earned her second place in the all-around with a score of 38.500, edging out teammates Traina (38.475) and Joyce Li ’15 (37.600), who finished third and fourth. The only competitor to beat the trio was Bridgeport’s Monica Mesalles, who competed in the 2004 Olympics for Spain.

    Next Saturday the team has its last meet before Ivy League Championships, against Southern Connecticut State University. Its goal is to hit 24 out of 24 routines next week, Yabut said.

  6. GYMNASTICS | Bulldogs leap over Brown

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    Yale beat Brown and dominated the all-around competition at last Saturday’s tri-meet in Durham, New Hampshire.

    At the University of New Hampshire Invitational, the Bulldogs took second place to New Hampshire’s 195.475 points and defeated Brown, which finished with a mark of 189.675. Yale scored 190.275 points, the team’s highest score of the season, and better than any result the team achieved last year. The Elis also dominated the all-around competition, with first, third and fourth place finishes from Tara Feld ’13, Morgan Traina ’15 and Joyce Li ’15.

    Members of the team said they were satisfied by the results, but think they are capable of a better performance. Head coach Barbara Tonry said the team can score 192 or 193 if it minimizes mistakes. She added that in order to do this, the team needs to work on maintaining confidence throughout the entire meet.

    “The team’s standards are higher this year,” team captain Mia Yabut ’12 said in an email to the News. She added that while the team did not perform to its full potential, she was pleased with the results.

    Because the team’s main goal this season is to win the Ivy League championships, defeating Brown was especially important, Traina said. The loss to New Hampshire, although not ideal, is better than a loss to an Ivy League team, she added.

    The Bulldogs were strongest on the uneven bars. Brianna Chrisman ’15 started off with a routine that scored a 9.650, which Yabut said sparked excitement on the team. Feld had Yale’s top score of 9.700, the first stop on her way to all-around victory. The team scored a 47.900, which Tonry said was almost enough to reach the team’s goal of 48 points per event.

    While the Bulldogs usually face difficulty on the beam, this week the beam did not present its normal problems. After a hard week of beam practice, Yale counted no falls towards its overall score, which was a huge improvement from last week, when they had two, Yabut said. Despite this improvement, bobbles still cost the team points.

    “[Beam] still wasn’t what we can do …” Tonry said. “They were just a little nervous.”

    After hitting bars and improving on beam, the Elis faced a challenge on the floor. They were forced to count an uncharacteristic two falls towards their score on floor and struggled to stay in bounds on their tumbling passes. Floor, which is traditionally a strength of the team, was their lowest scoring event at the meet, with a total of 47.175. The highlight on floor was Feld’s routine, which earned her a 9.825, her highest score of the day.

    Vault put an exclamation point on the meet for the Elis. Traina stuck the landing of her Yurchenko tuck full, which earned her a 9.475. Feld concluded her meet by landing a Yurchenko layout full for a score of 9.725.

    “I was really proud of our vault line-up for coming together and really pulling through for the team after a disappointing floor performance,” Yabut said.

    Feld won the all-around with a score of 38.775, the highest all-around performance in her collegiate career. Close behind were teammates Li and Traina, who earned scores of 37.850 and 38.100, respectively.

    The Bulldogs are home for their next meet, which will take place next weekend at 1 p.m. against Bridgeport, Rhode Island College and Springfield.

  7. GYMNASTICS | Bulldogs tumble to Quakers

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    The Yale gymnastics team is no longer undefeated.

    On Saturday, Jan. 28, Yale lost in its home opener to the defending Ivy League Champions, Penn. The Elis scored 188.350, which could not match Penn’s 191.225. The Bulldogs started out strong on vault and bars but could not carry this momentum to beam, which resulted in the team’s three point loss.

    “I thought we started off beautifully … ” head coach Barbara Tonry said, “then we went to beam, and I don’t know what happened.”

    During vault, Yale’s first event, no falls were counted towards the team’s overall score. While the team is happy with this outcome, the Elis are still looking to increase the difficulty of tricks attempted in this event, team captain Mia Yabut ’12 said. Right now, most of the girls on the team are competing a Yurchenko layout, a skill that involves doing a roundoff backhandspring onto the vault, then pushing off and completing a black flip in a straight body position. Vaults that include a layout with a twist are considered more difficult and are awarded more points. The Bulldogs did not compete layout twists this weekend, but Yabut said some of the gymnasts are looking to do so in the future.

    “Three of the girls on our team have the potential to do half [twists],” Yabut said, “but we’re trying to play it safe for the first part of the season.”

    Despite this lack of difficulty, Tara Feld ’13 won the vault event with a 9.750.

    As the Bulldogs headed to the uneven bars, they trailed Penn by only 0.850. The team carried its success over to bars, where once again, the Bulldogs counted no falls towards their team score.

    Lindsay Andsager ’13 and Joyce Li ’15, who scored a 9.7 and a 9.675 respectively, placed in the top two for the team. At the end of bars, Yale was losing to the defending Ivy League Champions, who had competed bars and then beam, by only 0.65.

    But on beam, things began to go south for the Bulldogs. Three of Yale’s top six gymnasts fell, forcing the team to count two falls towards the overall team score.

    “Nerves got the best of some of the girls [on beam],” Yabut said. “We also have a high level of difficulty on beam.”

    She added that the difficulty level of the routines makes them harder to complete without falls. On beam, Yale competes aerials, or no handed cartwheels, and tumbling that includes various back flips as well as twisting dismounts. The difficulty of these skills, combined with the pressure of competition can get the best of a gymnastics team. The falls on beam widened the scoring gap, and Yale trailed by by 2.375 points at the end of the event.

    Floor exercise was a solid event for Yale. The highlight of floor was the last routine, in which Feld won the event with a score of 9.750. Feld’s double back tuck was the last tumbling pass of the meet and a powerful finish for the Elis.

    Although Yale lost to Penn by about three points, the Elis dropped to the Quakers last year by more than six points. Team members said they are happy to see improvement against the Ivy Champions, but the team was also disappointed that it did not capitalize on the opportunity to win, Tonry said.

    The team is preparing for this weekend’s upcoming meet against Brown and University of New Hampshire at the New Hampshire Invitational. Beam will be the focus of this week’s practice, Tonry said.

    “The more hit routines you do in practice, the more confident you are in actual competition.” Tonry said. “[The team members] need to get their confidence back and feel good about what they’re doing.”

    The Bulldogs are hopeful that with a strong week of practice, they will make a strong showing at the invitational. New Hampshire, which awards recruits full scholarships in gymnastics, might prove a challenge for the Bulldogs. Tonry said she has yet to see Brown in action this year.

    “If we put in the work and everyone’s focused, we have a good shot,” Li said of beating the Bears.

    Li took second place in the all-around competition against Penn with a 37.725.

    The Bulldogs travel to Durham, N.H., for the Invitational takes place Saturday at 7 p.m.

  8. GYMNASTICS | Elis sweep season opener at Springfield

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    Yale gymnastics started its season with a sweep of three teams at Springfield College last Saturday.

    The Bulldogs finished with a sore of 189.475 to beat Southern Connecticut State University (188.825), Brockport (186.475) and Springfield College (184.55). The team’s score bested last season’s high by more than two points. Freshmen Joyce Li ’15 and Morgan Traina ’15 provided hope that the season opener might be a sign of things to come for the Elis when they finished first and second in the all-around with scores of 38.05 and 37.8 respectively.

    “It was a good start, getting the first one under your belt.” head coach Barbara Tonry said.

    The team started off on bars, an event in which teammates said they are much improved from last year.

    Both scoring 9.775 out of 10, Lindsay Andsager ’13 and Morgan Traina ’15 tied for second in the uneven bars. Despite this success, the event was not without its share of mistakes. Of the top five Yale competitors for bars, two fell during their routines, Traina said.

    Tara Feld ’13, who competed all four events, said the sweep on the bars helped the team start off on the “right foot.”

    When the gymnasts finished on bars, the team moved to beam, an event which caused several mishaps for the Bulldogs. After watching her team swallow two more falls into its overall score, Tonry said the team will need to train harder on beam in the future.

    But even beam was not without its bright spots Tonry added. Feld started the team off with a bobble-free routine that earned her a score of 9.55, good enough for fifth place in the event. Li and Traina followed later with first and third place finishes. Li scored 9.7, while Traina earned a 9.65.

    Although the team was not completely satisfied with its performance on these first two events, the Elis excelled on the floor exercise. Four of the six competitive routines earned over a 9.6. Feld took first with a score of 9.775, while Stephanie Goldstein ’13 came in close behind with a second place score of 9.75. Li and Nicole Tay ’14 took fourth and sixth with scores of 9.7 and 9.65 respectively.

    On vault, the Elis were not advanced or ambitious enough to compete routines that would score high if executed successfully. As a result, the Bulldogs did not earn any places in the top three spots. But Traina placed fourth with a score of 9.525.

    Li and Traina had an impressive one-two finish in the all-around competition.

    “Joyce’s face was sheer shock when they called her out [as the all-around champion]” Tonry said.

    Li scored a 38.05 to beat out her teammate Traina, who scored a 37.8. Traina said she did not find out she was competing in the all-around until a few days before the meet, but added that she was excited about the result.

    Katherine Lucas ’15, who is out with a shoulder injury but attended the meet, said she was enthusiastic to see her teammates continue to improve in the future.

    “The most important thing is helping the team win,” she said. “But first and second as freshmen is totally awesome. I’m so proud of them, and even with some mess-ups, imagine what they could do if they hit [their routines] perfectly.”

    The team is preparing to tackle its next challenger, reigning Ivy League Champions Penn. While Penn has about 20 healthy gymnasts, Yale only has 12, Tonry said. But she added that even with that disadvantage, she thinks her team has a good chance to win.

    “We know that we have to hit [the routines],” Tonry said. “Penn’s not going to give us anything.”

    The Bulldogs will take on Penn this Saturday at home at 1 p.m.

  9. GYMNASTICS | Tough finale for gymnasts

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    It wasn’t their best score of the season, but a small, injured gymnastics squad still managed to finish with a good performance in their final meet of the year.

    The Bulldogs finished seventh in the ECAC Championship with a score of 186.225, 1.7 points behind home-team Brown. Both teams, however, were too far behind to compete in the contentious battle for first.

    Cornell won its first-ever ECAC gymnastics title by 0.5 points over this year’s Ivy League champion, Penn, with a score of 191.675. The margins got slimmer in the middle of the pack, as Towson came in third by 0.1 points, Temple in fourth by 0.075, and William and Mary in fifth by only 0.025. It was the first time this season that Penn had managed to overcome Towson, winner of the past six ECAC titles.

    The Bulldogs’ best scores came on the floor exercise, where they had their most complete team effort of the season. Captain Sherry Yang ’11 led the team with a career-high score of 9.800, good for fifth place, and only 0.050 points from first.

    “Knowing it was the last time … I definitely felt more energy,” Yang said. “[I was] more concentrated.”

    On the uneven parallel bars, Lindsay Andsager ’13 also tied for fifth, with a score of 9.625, only 0.025 points away from placing in the top three. But aside from Andsager, the bars specialist, the rest of the team struggled on the apparatus. Scores were at 9.000 or below, falling in the bottom half of the standings.

    On vault the Elis were hurt yet again by the absence of a full 10.000 point start value, despite regaining anchor Tara Feld ’13 just in time for the competition. Even so, there was a silver lining. Mia Yabut ’12, who was kept off the vault all season until the previous week due to a foot injury, scored a career-high 9.500, tying with Stephanie Goldstein’s ’13 own season high for best Yale score, and 25th place overall.

    Yabut had stayed off the vault for almost the entire week of practice leading up to the championship.

    “I vaulted once in practice and limited my warm-ups at the actual competition so my injured foot could feel as healthy as possible for just one good vault,” Yabut said.

    Feld, who more recently recovered from her own injury, a torn muscle in her abdomen, also put forth a solid effort on the floor. Scoring a 9.750, she achieved a season-best, and also tied for 18th. With about one-and-a-half weeks to prepare, Feld had to relearn routines that she had not done in months.

    “I had to really push hard … to try and get as many routines back as I could. I relied a lot on my teammates’ support … I had to trust that the work I had put in at the beginning of the season still had an influence on my routines,” Feld said.

    For Yang, the lone senior on the young squad, it was her last competition, and the end to four years of training.

    She viewed her time with the program as one of rebuilding. The experienced squad of her freshman year — in which the Bulldogs narrowly missed the Ivy League title — shrank dramatically going into the next season, a season she considered to be the worst in Yale history.

    She said she thought of this competition, and this season, just one more step in that effort.

    “Even though we didn’t do as well as we hoped … I’m very proud of this team … for never giving up, even though the odds were against us,” Yang said.

    As for the off-season, Goldstein emphasized the team’s motivation to improve on their performances as they end the semester and look forward to beginning next year.

    “We’re going to be working hard…to add difficulty on all our events,” she said. “Hopefully … we’ll be setting ourselves up for a successful 2012 season.”

  10. GYMNASTICS | Yale falls at Ivy Classic

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    Yale gymnasts had a disappointing weekend in Philadelphia as the team took last place at the Ivy League Classic for the third consecutive year.

    The Bulldogs finished in fourth place at the competition with 185.550 points. Penn upset Cornell for the title, scoring 191.950 to the Big Red’s 190.550. Brown took third place with a score of 188.900. The last time the Classic came to the Palestra, Penn’s home gymnasium, was also the last time the Quakers won it. Yale has not won the Ivy League Championship since 2005, their third title in five years at the time.

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    Coming into the meet, the Bulldogs knew they would have their hands full. Cornell, last year’s Ivy Classic champion, had scored over 190 points four times this season while Penn had won three competitions in a row and had already beaten Yale earlier in the season. Brown had just posted a 191.500 score at the UNH Invitational. The Elis’ highest score this season was 187.450 against SCSU last week.

    “Coming in fourth doesn’t look the best,” Yang said, “but if we had given it our perfect performance, we had a shot at the Ivy title.”

    But falls and other costly mistakes dropped the team’s overall score to 185.550. That score, three points behind third-place Brown, was not enough to stay with the pack. The Quakers used a consistent team performance and a dominant 1.3 point margin on the vault to deny the Big Red a fourth consecutive Ivy title.

    Two Yale gymnasts who performed at a high level were Talis Trevino ’12 on the floor exercise and Lindsay Andsager ’13 on the uneven parallel bars, who both tied for third place in their respective events with scores of 9.800 and 9.675. Trevino’s performance was a career best.

    “Even though I wish I had been able to stick the dismount in competition … I’m thankful that I was able to put out a solid performance for the team,” Andsager said.

    Nicole Tay ’14, fresh off her ECAC Rookie of the Week Award, contributed again on the balance beam with a solid 9.625, good for seventh place. She also competed on the floor exercise for the first time in over a month due to a torn tendon in her ankle.

    Another injured gymnast, Mia Yabut ’12, was able to get off the disability list and competed on the bars at the Ivy Classic. It was her career debut on that apparatus, and her first performance of the season. Yabut tore a ligament in her foot in November, excluding her from every area of competition except bars, in which a majority of the strain is placed on a person’s shoulders. She said she was concerned about competing in the event because of shoulder surgery she had undergone her freshman year, but was happy about the opportunity to give back to the team.

    Ultimately, she was able to make the line-up, and scored 9.225, for sixteenth.

    “In early February I was cleared to practice bars and start rehab on my foot, but I couldn’t practice any landings. That was pretty interesting, because it’s a little difficult to practice bars without landing on my feet,” Yabut said, admitting, “I fell on my back a few times.”

    Yale face Rutgers for the second and third time this season over spring break. The Scarlet Knights are coming off their third-highest team score in school history, 194.150, led by Colombian freshman Luisa Leal-Restrepo, who broke the school record for the all-around with a 39.375. Yang said she would consider the break a success if the team is able to best their previous top score of 187.450, regardless of the head to head results.

    The competition will begin at Rutgers this Saturday, at 1 p.m.

  11. GYMNASTICS | Elis floor the Owls

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    The Yale gymnasts ended their home campaign with a dramatic win this past Saturday against Southern Connecticut State University.

    Captain Sherry Yang ’11 broke two personal records in her final meet at Yale. The Bulldogs notched their highest total of the season by earning 187.450 points to the Owls’ 185.850.

    With Tara Feld ’13 still out with an injured abdomen, the Bulldogs were missing a gymnast with a 10-point starting value on vault, their first apparatus of the day. Yang led the team on vault with a second-place score of 9.550. At the same time, SCSU’s costly falls on the uneven bars put them down by almost two and half points. Visiting fans were overheard expressing their distress, as repeated stalls and drops dampened the energy inside the gym.

    The Owls did not disappear, however, and posted high scores on the vault and floor to come within only four-tenths of a point by the start of the final event.

    “I don’t think the team realized how close the competition was — personally, I had no idea how close SCSU was to us until the end of the meet,” Stephanie Goldstein ’13 said.

    Goldstein scored a career-best 9.700, tying for first place with teammate Talis Trevino ’12 and moving just ahead of Yang’s 9.675. They swept the top three spots of the floor exercise and secured the win.

    The Owls stumbled in their final event, the balance beam, distinguishing Yale’s own perfect six-for-six performance.

    “The judges weren’t giving us credit for a few things — different connections we thought we had — but it’s subjective,” head coach Barbara Tonry said. “They all stayed on, which was perfect.”

    This was the second time this season that every Eli has stayed on the beam.

    Tonry was also positive about the development of her two freshmen all-rounders, Tabitha Tay ’14 and Maren Hopkins ’14, who were both thrust into a unique position by the small team size and the injuries. Tonry noted the excitement Hopkins had when she saw the results of her hard work pay off Saturday, as she averaged above a nine for each category. Fellow all-round Goldstein also noticed improvement among the freshmen.

    “Maren and Tabbi have really stepped up for the team these past few meets and done a great job of handling the pressure and endurance that competing all-around entails,” she said.

    All three set career records in the all-around, with Goldstein leading the competition with a first-place 38.075.

    Yang, Yale’s lone senior, celebrated her senior day with the best performance of her career, setting career records on the vault and the floor. She thanked her teammates and coaches for their unwavering support, and also mentioned her surprise at just how many people came out to support her and the team.

    “During the senior meet, it hit me that it’s going to be over soon,” Yang said. “I’ve been doing this since I was four years old.”

    With this important win under their belts, the team can finally look forward to the Ivy League Classic, where they will be competing against Penn, Brown and Cornell. Feld is not cleared for the competition due to risk of further injury, but the coaches are considering bringing Nicole Tay ’14 back to the floor, with possibly modified tumbles to accommodate her ankle. Tonry even mentioned the possibility of Mia Yabut ’12 making her season debut sometime in the coming weeks.

    Once at Penn, the team hopes to bring the energy it hasreceived from their last three home meets, and continue their string of increased scores that has seen them improve more than 10 points since their season debut.

    “We’re considered the underdog, but we’re going to be surprising a lot of people,” Yang said.

    The competition will take place this Sunday at 1:00 p.m.