AMES, IA - After a season best competition at Towson, the Yale gymnastics team traveled to Iowa State where the Cyclones hosted Northern Illinois, West Virginia and the Yale Bulldogs. Iowa State took a powerful lead to win the meet (196.200). West Virginia followed close behind earning a 195.025. The Huskies received third-place with a 194.375. Yale finished the competition in fourth with a team score of 192.800. For the first time this season, the Bulldogs broke over 48.000 on all four events, leading Yale to the best team score of the 2018 season.
Yale started off the afternoon with a fantastic performance on the floor, where underclassman dominated. The Bulldogs earned a total score of 48.200. Sophomore Sofia Menemenlis started off the meet hitting a solid floor set earning a 9.575. First-year Alyssa Firth followed close behind with a 9.525. Senior Sloane Smith also contributed a solid score for Yale (9.625). Rookie Jacey Baldovino started off her competition earning a 9.675, giving her a fantastic start to the all-around competition. To finish off the lineup, sophomores Jade Buford and Emma Firmstone posted impressive scores of a 9.700 and 9.625.
Vault was up next for the Bulldogs and they came away with an event score of 48.050. First-year Rowan Palmer, making her first appearance in the competition lineup, started off with a yurchenko layout earning a 9.300. Buford stuck a fantastic vault earning a 9.725, tying her season high score. Firmstone trailed close behind with with a 9.575. Junior Roxanne Trachtenberg made her debut of the evening delivering a solid yurchenko full (9.350). Baldovino did not disappoint and gave a strong performance, scoring 9.725, earning her a new season high. Sophomore Rebecca Chong rounded out the vault lineup with a 9.675.
Bars was the best event of the day for Yale with a team score of 48.475. Firmstone completed her third event of the competition a new season high score. Baldovino and junior Jessica Wang executed gorgeous bar routines, sticking their dismounts earning a 9.725 and 9.85. That is a season high on bars for Wang. Trachtenberg and Buford tied with a 9.625. Senior Megan Ryan performed an outstanding bar set, rounding out this event with a 9.675.
With an overall event score of 48.075, the Bulldogs came together for their last event of the evening, balance beam. Junior Kiarra Alleyne gave the Bulldogs a strong start to the last event ending with a stuck dismount (9.625). Not only did Firmstone earn a season high, but a career high of a huge 9.850. Following Firmstone, Buford finished her last event of the evening with a 9.725, just edged out by Baldovino's 9.825. Buford as well as Baldovino earned a season high score for the event. This is Baldovino's second season high score of the competition.
Yale had three competitors in the all-around including Baldovino, Buford and Firmstone. Baldovino scored a huge season best and career high of 38.950 securing her a first place finish out of the Bulldog all-around competitors. Following Baldovino, Buford received a 38.775 earning a season high all-around. In her second all-around meet of the season, Firmstone scored a 38.225.
The Bulldogs return to John J. Lee Amphitheater next Saturday for the Don Tonry Invitational. It will be a quad competition including Bridgeport, Yale Bulldogs, SCSU and Springfield. Competition begins at 1 pm.
report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity