TOWSON, Md. - The Yale gymnastics team traveled to Towson Friday to take on the host school as well as North Carolina and Ursinus. UNC won the meet with an impressive score of 194.600, Towson finishing close behind (194.275), Yale taking third-place (192.050) and Ursinus in fourth with a 187.425. For the first time this season, the Bulldogs broke over 48.000 on three of the four events, leading Yale to the best team score of the 2018 season.
The gymnasts started off the competition on the balance beam where first-year Jacey Baldovino hit a solid routine earning a 9.600 placing her in the top ten. She received the top score for the Bulldogs and improved from last weekend against Penn. This was a strong start to her all-around competition. Even though mistakes were made, sophomores Jade Buford, Emma Firmstone and Carly Israel delivered hit routines.
The Bulldogs came away with a team score above 48.000 on the floor exercise. Yale was led by senior Sloane Smith delivering an impressive routine (9.700), earning a new season high score. Underclassman Baldovino, Buford and Firmstone dominated this event. Buford earned a fantastic score of 9.800 placing her on podium at second-place. This score beat last weekend's performance of a 9.675. Look for this athlete to continue improving throughout the rest of the season. Firmstone sticking a great routine (9.700). Baldovino continued her all-around competition performing a solid floor routine (9.750), earning a new career and season high score.
Vault was one of the most successful events of the evening for Yale. Four gymnasts scored or tied season highs, leading Yale to a team score of 48.400. This is not only the highest overall vault score this season, but the sixth-highest vault score in Yale history. Firmstone started the Bulldogs off with a 9.525. First-year Alyssa Firth competed an amazing yurchenko full receiving a 9.625. Baldovino (9.675), Buford (9.725) and sophomore Rebecca Chong (9.750) show great promise in this lineup placing in the top ten. For Baldovino, this was another career high.
The final event of the evening for the Bulldogs was the uneven bars. The Bulldog's overall bars score of a 48.700 beat last weekend's performance of a 47.650. This is the highest score the gymnasts have had this season. Following big performances at home against Penn, Baldovino and junior Jessica Wang continued their consistency sharing the second-place podium earning a 9.800. That marks three career highs for Baldovino in this competition. Junior Roxanne Trachtenberg earned a score of 9.700 landing her a spot in the top ten. Senior Megan Ryan finished off the competition for the Bulldogs, sticking her routine and earning a 9.750.
Baldovino (38.825), Buford (38.625) and Firth (37.125) were Yale's all-around competitors for the evening. Baldovino and Buford placing in the top five, both earning season high all-around scores. Firth earning seventh place.
After this record breaking competition, the Bulldogs will be back in action Friday Feb. 2, as they make a road trip to Iowa State to compete against the home team, West Virginia and Northern Illinois. The meet is set to begin at 7:00 p.m.
report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity