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Bulldogs Travel to Rutgers for Season Opener

Allison Bushman
Allison Bushman

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale gymnastics team will take the competition floor for the first time in 2018 as the Bulldogs travel to Rutgers for their annual matchup with the Scarlet Knights and another Big Ten competitor, Illinois, along with Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). Competing with gymnasts from a power five conference will bring out some impressive performances for the Bulldogs, as they look to set the bar high for the 2018 season. With Yale's first ECAC championship win in 2017, the team is ready to start off strong.

This competition will mark the competitive debut for many members of the class of 2021 including Jacey Baldovino, Charlotte Cooperman, Alyssa Firth, Isabelle Lee and Rowan Palmer. These five gymnasts have the potential to make an immediate impact, adding precision and difficulty across all four events. 

Following a successful contribution to the 2017 season, the class of 2020 plans to continue making history, adding depth, leadership, excitement and stunning routines to Yale's line-up. Keep an eye out for reigning Ivy Classic all-around champion and ECAC Rookie of the Year Jade Buford. Since her arrival she has given impressive performances on all events.

Event specialists are also expected to make quite an impact. Sophomore Emma Firmstone will be one to watch. She holds Yale's third-highest score in history on the balance beam with a 9.850. After making first team All-American for vault, teammates Rebecca Chong and Anna Jennings prepare for another solid season. Carly Israel is ready to make her debut as a Bulldog as she has recovered from last season's surgery. 

Junior Kiarra Alleyne was the top finisher on floor exercise for the Bulldogs last season, while also giving solid performances on the balance beam. Junior Jessica Wang is ready to make her competition debut for the 2018 season after recovering from surgery during the 2017 season. Roxanne Trachtenberg was the top competitor on the uneven bars for the Bulldogs in 2017. She is expected to contribute greatly to the Bulldogs' bar and vault lineup.

Senior Megan Ryan was a consistent performer on both uneven bars and vault in 2017. Look for her to continue her streak of strong performances as the Bulldogs start their 2018 season. With career highs of 9.725 on floor and 9.600 on vault, expect senior Sloane Smith to continue to be a presence in these rotations as the season progresses.

The meet is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Live stats can be found here.

report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity