NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Following a successful competition at Iowa State, the Yale gymnastics team hosts Bridgeport, Springfield and SCSU for the fourth annual Don Tonry Bulldog Invitational Saturday. The Bulldogs prepare for their home opener following a season-best performance at Iowa State (192.800), which included numerous career- and season-high scores for the Bulldogs.
"Overall, I think the team did a great job going head to head against power houses NCAA ranked Iowa State, West Virginia and Northern Illinois. We need to pay attention to detail, lessening bobbles and extra steps on landings. Our confidence is building with each meet and I am hopeful this will be another best meet of the season," said Head Coach Barbara Tonry.
Bridgeport is coming off an impressive win at Brown, where the Purple Knights put up a strong team score of 194.350. Springfield College looks to build off a team score of 188.700 against Cortland State last Sunday. The Owls of SCSU come to New Haven following a first-place finish against Rhode Island College with a team score of 189.525.
The meet honors Yale legend Don Tonry, who had been an integral part of Yale gymnastics since its introduction. Tonry was an Olympian who found himself at Yale coaching a newly introduced varsity men's gymnastics team. Don coached and taught at Yale for almost 50 years, winning three Ivy League team titles and an individual NCAA National Championship. This Yale coach was a Hall Of Famer, an NCAA all-around champion, Pan American Champion, a brevet judge in the World Championships and an author and illustrator of many publications, including Sports Illustrated. His team went on to win three Ivy titles until losing its status as a varsity sport in 1980.
However, Tonry's presence in the Yale gymnastics community remained consistent. In 2016, he was honored as an Elm City Legend, along with his wife: head coach Barbara Tonry. The duo was also inducted into the Connecticut Gymnastics Hall of Fame. The meet signifies his importance to not only the Yale gymnastics community, but also the Yale athletics community as a whole.
"Don taught athletes from beginner level all the way to elite level with equal fervor. He was instrumental in pushing for women's gymnastics at Yale. This led to Yale gymnastics being the only teams (men's and women's) to win an Ivy League Championship in the same year. He truly loved the sport of gymnastics," said Barbara Tonry.
The Bulldogs have been giving consistent and strong performances throughout the season, increasing their team score with every competition. Expect rookie Jacey Baldovino to keep improving upon her career highs.
The meet is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. in John J. Lee Amphitheater. It will be live streamed on the Ivy League Network here.
report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity