NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Following another record-breaking performance at Iowa State Friday, the Yale gymnastics team once again had gymnasts honored by the ECAC in their weekly awards. Each week, the ECAC gives out four different honors: Gymnast of the Week, Rookie of the Week, Specialist of the Week and Coaches' Choice Honors. Yale had a gymnast honored in half of these categories.
First-year Jacey Baldovino received Rookie of the Week for the third week in a row after receiving yet another all-around career and season high score. Sophomore Jade Buford earned Gymnast of the Week for the first time in the 2018 season after earning multiple ECAC Weekly Awards as a first-year last 2017 season. The efforts of these two individuals greatly contributed to the Bulldogs' highest team score this season (192.800).
Baldovino earned Rookie of the Week for her consistency and dominant presence in the all-around competition. This week she posted a season-high in the all-around with a 38.95 and was once again Yale's top all-around scorer. This score earned her fourth place against two Big 12 teams as well as a MAC team. Her contribution gave Yale enough competitive efforts to be able to tally a team score. She hit a season high mark on both vault (9.725) and balance beam (9.825), placing her in the top 10. Baldovino excelled on the other two events scoring a 9.725 on the uneven bars and a 9.675 for her floor routine.
"She has increased her all-around score each week. She is a very competitive freshman," said Head Coach Barbara Tonry.
Buford joins her teammate in being given the Gymnast of the Week honor. She had a great weekend competing in all four events against Iowa State, Northern Illinois and West Virginia. She has made quite the impact in the all-around competition since her first-year as a Bulldog. This was the fourth consecutive meet in which Buford competed in the all-around, which is an incredible achievement. The young sophomore scored a season high on beam with a 9.725 and tied her season high on vault with a 9.725. She rounded out the four events with a 9.7 on floor and a 9.625 on the uneven bars for an all-around score of 38.775. This score led Buford to fifth-place against these ranked teams.
"Jade had a very good meet and scored a season high on beam and vault. In that high level of competition, she was one of the top all-arounds in a meet with D1 NCAA Ranked teams," said Tonry.
These two individuals will both be factors on their respective events when the Ivy Classic roll around Feb. 25. The Bulldogs hope to build on their incredible momentum from Iowa State to bring home a win at the Don Tonry Invitational this Saturday.
report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity