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Two Bulldogs Earn ECAC Weekly Awards Following Ivy Title

Jade Buford. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jade Buford. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Following another record-breaking performance in the Ivy Classic at Penn Sunday, the Yale gymnastics team once again had gymnasts honored by the ECAC in their weekly awards this season. 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 Lindsay Chia received Rookie of the Week for the first time this season after receiving yet another career- and season-high score on beam and bars. Junior Jade Buford earned Gymnast of the Week for the second time in the 2019 season after earning multiple ECAC Weekly Awards for the past two seasons. The efforts of these two individuals greatly contributed to the Bulldogs' highest team score this season (195.100).

"In the midst of recovering from my pre-season injury, I honestly did not expect such a reward. I am incredibly honored and excited to continue working hard to finish out the season on a strong note," said Chia.

Chia earned Rookie of the Week for her consistency and dominant presence on the bars and balance beam. This week she posted career- and season-highs on bars and beam with a 9.800 and 9.875. Her beam score earned her first-place against the other Ivy teams. She was Yale's top beam scorer, propelling the team score to Yale gymnastics' highest beam score in school history (49.15). Additionally, her contribution to bars gave Yale enough competitive efforts to be able to tally a team score of 48.750. 

"She has been improving every single week. She is a very competitive first-year," said head coach Barbara Tonry.

Buford joins her teammate in being given a weekly honor. She had a great weekend competing in all four events at the Ivy Classic, where she took home the all-around title for the third year in a row with a 38.725. She has made quite the impact in the all-around competition for three seasons. On vault, the junior contributed a 9.700 to Yale's total score of 48.750, the second-highest team vault score in school history. She led the team off on uneven bars and scored a 9.600. Balance beam proved to be her best event of the day, as she scored a 9.75 and helped the Bulldogs break the school record for total beam score with a 49.15. To finish up her day Buford scored a 9.675 with her floor routine.

"Jade is a great embodiment of the sport of gymnastics. She knows how to lead-off and anchor a rotation as well as support and motivate those around her with her seriousness, humor and focus," said assistant coach Jason Collins.

These two individuals will both be factors on their respective events when Yale faces nationally-ranked teams Arizona State, Cornell and Penn State Mar. 2 at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs hope to build on their incredible momentum from the Ivy Classic to bring intense competition to Penn State this Saturday. 

The ECAC release can be found here.

report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity