March 31, 2007
ITHACA, N.Y. - In a field of nine teams, Yale placed sixth at the 2007 ECAC Championships with a score of 189.425. While this team finish was not as high as the Bulldogs desired, several top ten individual performances made the season that this meet culminated in worth all the hard work. However, the main highlight of the day was when senior Miki Seltzer was crowned floor champion, followed by Alina Liao in second place.
The Bulldogs had a shaky start on beam, usually a consistent event for the team. Brigitte Kivisto scored a career high 9.775 and placed third. Kristen Campbell turned in her best performance of the season, earning a 9.625, and Lauren Tatsuno added a 9.5.
"We didn't do the best job on beam," said head coach Barbara Tonry. "Brigitte had a great routine, but overall we weren't very clean."
Floor restored the team's confidence, led by Seltzer and Liao's career high performances. Seltzer earned a 9.85 while Liao received a 9.8. Senior Suchitra Paul also had a great routine, scoring a 9.6.
Despite a nebulous vault line-up the morning of the competition, Yale put together a solid performance. Even with an injury, senior Jessica Tai had one of her best runs of the season, scoring a 9.7 and placing sixth. She was followed closely behind by Tatsuno's 9.625, Kivisto's 9.575, and Seltzer's 9.525.
Yale ended the meet on a good note, not having any falls on bars. They were led by senior Jessica Blick's season high 9.6, who placed fifth in the event that has been her specialty for the past four years. Liao added a 9.525 and Kivisto, a 9.475.
"There were some really outstanding routines that we're all proud of," said Seltzer. "And Alina's such a trooper, having competed all-around at every meet this season."
Towson, the two-time reigning ECAC Champion, added another title to their collection, easily outscoring the rest of the field with a 193.65. Penn's 191.325 placed second, while third through sixth place were within one point of each other.
"There was no reason we couldn't have gotten second, had we cut a few problems here and there," Tonry said. "But you're only as good as your performance on the big day."
Towson's Decelia Willacy won the individual all-around competition with a 38.825, ahead of URI's Kelly Gurney (38.55). Liao's final score was a 37.075.
The Bulldogs will now wait to see which gymnasts qualified for the NCAA Regionals, held on Saturday, April 14, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The announcement will be made early next week.
Report filed by Cathy Jan '09, Yale Sports Publicity