January 22, 2012

Gymnasts Take First In Season Opener

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Yale gymnastics team opened the 2012 season with a bang, finishing first out of four teams at a quad meet at Springfield College. The Bulldogs won with a score of 189.475. SCSU, Brockport and Springfield followed with scores of 188.825, 186.475 and 184.55, respectively. Yale's score beat last year's season-high of 187.45 and is the highest the team has scored at a season opener in recent memory.

The Bulldog freshmen made an immediate impact. Joyce Li finished first in the all-around with a score of 38.05 and first on beam with a 9.7. Li was also in the top five on both vault and floor. Morgan Traina took second in the all-around with a 37.8 in addition to a fourth-place finish on vault with a 9.525 and a third-place finish on beam with a 9.65. Traina also tied for second on the uneven bars with junior teammate Lindsay Andsager. Both gymnasts scored a 9.775. Finally, Brianna Chrisman competed two events in her college debut and tied for fifth on bars with a 9.5.

Senior captain Mia Yabut made her all-around debut with a score of 36.275. Yabut placed seventh on bars with a score of 9.425. Additionally, junior Tara Feld placed fifth on beam with a 9.55 and first on floor with a 9.775. Fellow junior Stephanie Goldstein was second on floor with a 9.75. Sophomore Nicole Tay tried for sixth on the event with a 9.65 despite battling sickness during the past week of training.

"We're all really excited because even though we had ups and downs, overall we came out on top today. We'll definitely be going up from here," said Yabut. "Keeping our numbers up and staying consistent is our goal going into our dual meet with Penn. Our bars were stronger than I've ever seen, and floor looked really good. We're also hoping that the few girls who are sick or injured can help us out on beam next week and that we can add more difficulty on vault going into next weekend."

The Bulldogs resume competition Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1:00 p.m. against Penn at Yale's John J. Lee Amphitheater. The meet will serve as both the home and the Ivy opener for the Bulldogs.

Report filed by Margaret Greenberg '12, Yale Sports Publicity