March 24, 2012

Gymnasts End Season Seventh at ECAC Championships

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Yale's gymnastics team scored a season-high team total of 191.45 to place seventh at the ECAC Championships, hosted by Penn in the Palestra. The Quakers won with a score of 194.4, besting the runner-up Towson Tigers by a quarter of a tenth. Temple placed third with a 192.45, followed by Cornell, Brown, and William & Mary. The Tribe finished 0.475 tenths ahead of the Bulldogs.

Yale had a strong meet, hitting every routine but one and counting zero falls. The Bulldogs started on the beam, where the team saw solid performances from junior Tara Feld, sophomore Maren Hopkins and sophomore Tabitha Tay. Junior Stephanie Goldstein and freshman Joyce Li had standout performances on the event. Goldstein placed eleventh with a 9.65, and Li tied for fifth with a 9.725. Li's score was the second highest on the event, behind a four-way tie for first place. Freshman Morgan Traina, who won the beam title at this year's Ivy Classic, fell twice and scored a 8.725.

On the floor exercise, Yale exhibited six solid routines but was unable to break into the 9.7 plus scoring range. Feld was Yale's highest finisher on the event, tying for twenty third place with a score of 9.6. Goldstein was close behind with a 9.575. Goldstein competed new tumbling in her routine, adding in a double pike as her first pass and competing a double back tuck as her third. Li scored a 9.5 and sophomore Ashley O'Connor, in her college debut on floor, scored a 9.325. Tay also scored a 9.325, and Traina scored a 9.3.

On the vault, senior captain Mia Yabut was the top performer for Yale. Yabut scored a 9.675 with her laid-out yurchenko half. Feld followed with a 9.65. Yabut tied for seventeenth on the event, and Feld placed twentieth. Li scored a 9.6, Tay and Traina each scored a 9.55, and Goldstein scored a 9.5. Traina's score was a season-high for the freshman.

Yale finished on the bars, where the team has struggled in recent weeks. Six out of six girls hit their routines, and junior bars specialist Lindsay Andsager led the Bulldogs with an eleventh place finish and a score of 9.725. Traina tied for fifteenth with a 9.7. Sophomore Nicole Tay, who is recovering from an ankle injury and was only able to compete on bars, scored a 9.65, and Feld and Li each scored a 9.625. Yabut scored a 9.25.

In the all-around, Feld and Li tied for eighth with a score of 38.45. Temple's Katie Canning won with a 39.2, followed by Penn's Dana Bonincontri with a 39.1 and Towson's Lindsay Poplaski, who scored a 39.0.

"The girls did a good job for a meet of this caliber," said head coach Barbara Tonry. "I do think that if we hadn't started on beam our score would have been higher, but we were the very first team on beam of the whole meet, then we had a buy on the last rotation, and it's nice to be competing in that last rotation when the scores tend to be getting higher. I thought we had some really nice floor, but we didn't get the scores I was expecting."

"I was pleased with all of them, they all did a great job," Tonry added. "I think they were proud of themselves too. We were only half a point from William & Mary, and we were better than the placement shows."

Report filed by Margaret Greenberg '12, Yale Sports Publicity.

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