NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - The Bulldogs experienced early success in the first meet of the 2018 season earning a team score of 191.550. This is Yale's highest season opener team score in school history. Illinois came out on top with an impressive team score of 195.100. The Bulldogs second place finish shows a good sign of what is to come for this 2018 team.
First-year Jacey Baldovino was Yale's top finisher in the all-around, finishing second overall with a score of 38.650 and hitting a solid four for four events. Sophomores Emma Firmstone and Jade Buford also competed in the all-around with a 38.250 and 37.000.
The Bulldogs started off the competition strong on the balance beam. Firmstone was the top scorer for the Bulldogs finishing eighth with a score of 9.775. Baldovino and Buford also had solid performances with a 9.725 and 9.7. Balance beam specialist and first year Charlotte Cooperman made her NCAA debut hitting a solid routine scoring a 9.650.
Floor exercise was the best event of the day for the Bulldogs: they won this event, beating both Big Ten Illinois and Rutgers scoring a 48.175. Three Yale gymnasts performed solid routines, each scoring a 9.700 or above. Firmstone delivered a huge routine, scoring 9.775 and finishing second place. Baldovino scoring a 9.725 finishing close behind. Floor specialist Sloane Smith came away with an impressive score of 9.525. Buford finished up the lineup scoring a 9.700.
Bulldogs took second to Illinois on vault and Baldovino shined for the Bulldogs finishing in the top five on the event, with a score of 9.650. Fellow first-year Alyssa Firth was close behind, scoring 9.625. Sophomore Rebecca Chong also competed vault, tying Baldovino with a 9.650. The rotation was rounded out with Roxanne Trachtenberg, Emma Firmstone and Jade Buford, all scoring a 9.550.
The Bulldogs ended the competition on uneven bars. Baldovino put up a strong routine, continuing her all-around competition with a 9.550. Junior Jessica Wang delivered a spectacular performance earning an impressive 9.825 placing third overall. Wang was the top scorer for the Bulldogs. Senior Megan Ryan performed an outstanding bar set, rounding out this event with a 9.75.
The Bulldogs look to build off the success from today's competition into the first home meet of the season against Penn next Saturday, Jan. 20.
report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity