NEW HAVEN, Conn.- For the first time in the 2017 season, the Yale women's gymnastics team competed in front of a home crowd Saturday. The Bulldogs hosted Bridgeport, Rhode Island College and SCSU in the Don Tonry Bulldog Invitational. Yale finished the day in second place with a final score of 191.275. The Bridgeport Purple Knights took a commanding lead over the field to win the meet (193.175). The Bulldogs edged out Southern Connecticut (184.950) and Rhode Island College (172.800).
Yale started off the competition on vault where freshman Rebecca Chong earned the top spot for the Bulldogs. The rookie took 4th place on the event, scoring 9.550. Sophomore RoxanneTrachtenberg finished just outside of the top five, scoring 9.500 and taking the sixth spot. Megan Ryan started off her competition with a 9.475 on the event, finishing in a tie for eighth place. Freshmen Emma Firmstone and Anna Jennings also gave solid performances for the Bulldogs, scoring 9.450 and 9.400, respectively. Jade Buford started off her all-around competition scoring 9.225 on the apparatus.
The Bulldogs then rotated to the uneven bars, where Ryan was the top scorer. Her score of 9.650 landed her in third place. Captain Tatiana Winkelman made her first appearance of the day on bars, finishing closely behind Ryan in fourth (9.625). Buford continued her all-around competition with a score of 9.600. Senior Anella Anderson and Trachtenberg both received a score of 9.450, finishing just inside the top ten. Allison Bushman also competed on the uneven bars, scoring 8.050.
Balance beam was up next for the Bulldogs, and the underclassmen stole the show. Firmstone was the top scorer; She earned an impressive career high of 9.800 and finished in third place. Close behind was fellow freshman Buford, with a score of 9.650, landing her in fifth place. Anderson finished in a tie for seventh, scoring 9.600. The score ties Anderson's season high on the event. Sophomore Kiarra Alleyne made her first performance of the day on balance beam, scoring 9.300. Chong and WInkelman rounded out the rotation for the Bulldogs, scoring 8.875 and 9.275.
The final event for the Bulldogs proved to be the best. The team score on floor exercise (48.175) was the best of the day for Yale. Buford finished her last event with a huge career-best performance. Her score of 9.825 landed her in second place: the highest finish of the day for a Yale gymnast. Underclassmen continued to have strong performances, with Alleyne and Firmstone scoring 9.750 and 9.700. Both Chong and Sloane Smith received impressive scores of 9.600. The score was a career high for Chong and a season high for Smith. Anderson rounded out the lineup for Yale, scoring 9.450.
Buford was the sole all-around competitor for the Bulldogs. She finished in third place with a score of 38.325, which ties her career high.
The Bulldogs will once again compete in front of a home crowd February 4th, as Ivy Classic rival Brown comes to New Haven for a dual meet.
Report filed by Rachel Wofford '17, Yale Sports Publicity