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Gymnastics Takes First Place at First Home Meet of Season

The Yale gymnastics huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Yale gymnastics huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale gymnastics team opened up Ivy competition today, as they took on the Quakers of Penn. The Bulldogs took every single event title as well as the team win. In the end Yale beat Penn by over a point with a score of 193.775-192.350.

Yale started off the afternoon with a spectacular performance on the vault, earning a 48.375 team score. The huge vault score was largely due to four big scores by sophomore Charlotte Cooperman, as well as juniors Jade Buford, Rebecca Chong and Anna Jennings. Jennings led the Bulldogs off for the second weekend in a row landing her twisting vault, putting up a 9.650. Buford followed with a front-entry vault tying with fellow junior Jennings (9.650). Senior Jessica Wang made her debut of the day scoring a 9.525. Chong kept the energy up scoring a 9.750, earning her second-place overall. Cooperman put up a yurchenko full scoring a 9.700. Sophomore Alyssa Firth finished the event on a strong note earning a 9.625. The Bulldogs had no falls during this event, taking the team vault title.

Wang dominated on bars and was the top finisher for Yale. Her score of 9.850 landed her in first place out of the entire meet. Senior Roxanne Trachtenberg was close behind with a score of 9.700, tying all-around competitor Buford (9.700). First-year Lindsay Chia stayed consistent earning a 9.650. This score placed her in the top ten. Sophomores Jacey Baldovino and Firth also competed on bars for the Bulldogs, scoring a 9.300 and 9.400. As a team, the Bulldogs edged out Penn by one tenth, 48.300 – 48.200.
Beam was up next for Yale. Buford was Yale's top scorer on this event with a solid hit beam routine with a 9.775. Buford's score placed her second overall. Baldovino followed Buford with a stuck dismount 9.700. Cooperman had a strong performance scoring 9.600. Senior captain Kiarra Alleyne put up one of her two events of the day and hit her routine (9.575). Wang kept the Bulldogs' momentum going, receiving a 9.525. Firmstone put up a great beam set to lead the Bulldogs into their last event. Overall the Bulldogs earned a 48.175 as a team, edging out Penn.
Floor exercise was the last rotation for the Bulldogs. Firmstone started out the event strong for the Bulldogs with a 9.750. Cooperman matched Firmstone's incredible set, tying her score of 9.750. Alleyne followed Cooperman with a massive floor set, getting the crowd moving with a huge 9.825. Chong won this event overall, sticking all her tumbling passes and scoring a 9.850. Buford kept her consistency in her all-around competition earning a 9.725. Firth came through with a huge score (9.750) to land in the top five. The last event for the Bulldogs ended in a win with a 48.925 – 48.375.

"Being back on floor for the first time since freshman year was incredible," said Chong. "My ankle is finally healed and I am so excited to give all the energy back to my team. I am incredibly grateful to have represented YGT out there today and to take home first place on an event where I can truly be myself."

Assistant Coach Jason Collins summed up the Bulldogs' work in their first home meet.

"These ladies moved beyond the score board. They became a collective unit and they did so from their hearts. I am proud to be a Bulldog. For God, For Country and For Yale," said Collins.
Buford was only all-arounder for the day, scoring a 38.850.

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report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity